The thyroid is one of the largest endocrine glands. The thyroid gland is found in the neck, below (inferior to) the thyroid cartilage (which forms the laryngeal prominence, or ‘Adam’s Apple’) and at approximately the same level as the cricoid cartilage.

The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body should be to other hormones. It participates in these processes by producing thyroid hormones, the principal ones being triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones regulate the rate of metabolism and affect the growth and rate of function of many other systems in the body. T3 and T4 are synthesized from both iodine and tyrosine. The thyroid also produces calcitonin, which plays a role in calcium homeostasis.

Hormonal output from the thyroid is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) produced by the anterior pituitary, which itself is regulated by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) produced by the hypothalamus.

The thyroid gets its name from the Greek word for “shield”, after the shape of the related thyroid cartilage. The most common problems of the thyroid gland consist of an overactive thyroid gland, referred to as hyperthyroidism, and an underactive thyroid gland, referred to as hypothyroidism.


Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, is due to the overproduction of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, and is most commonly caused by the development of Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease in which antibodies are produced which stimulate the thyroid to secrete excessive quantities of thyroid hormones. The disease can result in the formation of a toxic goiter as a result of thyroid growth in response to the lack of negative feedback mechanisms. It presents with symptoms such as a thyroid goiter, protruding eyes (exophthalmos), palpitations, excess sweating, diarrhea, weight loss, muscle weakness and unusual sensitivity to heat.

Hypothyroidism-Hahsimoto’s Disease

Hypothyroidism is due to the underproduction of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Hypothyroid disorders may occur as a result of congenital thyroid abnormalities (see congenital hypothyroidism), autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, iodine deficiency (more likely in poorer countries) or the removal of the thyroid following surgery to treat severe hyperthyroidism and/or thyroid cancer. Typical symptoms are abnormal weight gain, tiredness, baldness, cold intolerance, and bradycardia. Hypothyroidism is treated with hormone replacement therapy, such as levothyroxine, which is typically required for the rest of the patient’s life. Thyroid hormone treatment is given under the care of a physician and may take a few weeks to become effective.

90% of all Hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s Disease.  At the Florida Functional Neurology Group (FFNG), we have found that the traditional approach to treating patients solely based on their TSH and T4 values to be ineffective in the resolution of their symptoms for a great number of patients.  FFNG utilizes functional blood chemistry standards which yield  more data than traditonal allopathic physicians look at. This provides “all the puzzle pieces” and provides a more complete picutre of the patient’s true state of well-being. This allows Dr. Frank to construct a treatment protocol specific to the patient’s needs.  For more insight to your road to recovery I highly recommend you get Why Do I STILL Have Thyroid Symptoms?” by Dr. Datis Kharrazian.

Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? Book