Of the 20 million Americans who have thyroid disease, most have hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally.

More common in women than men, hypothyroidism can have a number of genetic, nutritional, and immune-related underlying causes and contributing factors.

Licensed naturopathic doctors (NDs) have effective approaches for the treatment of hypothyroidism based on rigorous training in therapeutic nutrition and botanical medicine, and an emphasis on addressing the underlying causes of disease.

Hypothyroidism: What is it and what are the symptoms?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make hormones which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body make energy, metabolize, regulate temperature, and keeps the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should. When the body isn’t making enough thyroid hormone, symptoms can include fatigue, weight gain, hair thinning, dry skin, and depression.

Experts believe that between 40 and 60 percent of people with thyroid disease do not know they have it.

Low thyroid hormone can also cause more serious symptoms like difficulty sleeping, changes in menstruation, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Because symptoms of hypothyroidism can resemble those of other diseases and vary widely from person to person, patients may not recognize them as a problem warranting exploration or treatment. Experts believe that between 40 and 60 percent of people with thyroid disease do not know they have it.