Functional Medicine – Thyroid Health
Functional Medicine Approach to the Thyroid
Thyroid diseases and disorders affect approximately 20 million people in the U.S., the majority of whom are women. Thyroid disease is often a case of overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid) or under-active thyroid (hypothyroid). Hypothyroid is much more prevalent in the U.S. and is most often due to the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. There are signs and symptoms of Hashimotos that can crop up long before the laboratory diagnosis of hypothyroidism can be made, and these symptoms often go overlooked by physicians. We work with many patients suffering from thyroid disease, both hyper and hypothyroid, and is experienced at spotting thyroid disorders, even at early stages.
The thyroid gland is responsible for so many functions in the body, from body temperature to metabolism to hormone regulation. When the thyroid does not function properly, the body suffers, and if not diagnosed properly, you may not know why you’re sick! If you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have a low functioning thyroid:
- Brain fog
- Dry skin
- Thinning hair or loss of outer portion of eyebrows
- Unexplained weight gain
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Mood swings
- Sensitivity to cold
- Heavy or irregular menses
- Memory trouble
Functional Medicine Approach
We will guide you in the right direction with blood diagnostic testing, diagnosis, and treatment, ultimately supporting and optimizing thyroid function. Thyroid treatment should be individualized. Appropriate supplements and nutrition are also different from person to person and should be utilized to support thyroid function and facilitate activation of thyroid hormone. While one medication may work for one person, it may not be effective in helping another.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m taking thyroid medication. Can I go off it?
When we treat the root cause of what threw off your thyroid in the first place, it’s possible that your thyroid function can be normal again, and you won’t need medication. This depends on how long you’ve had the problem, how long you’ve been on medication, and how damaged your thyroid is. The goal is to have you depend on the least amount of medication possible. And definitely not have your dosage increase over time.As your lab numbers improve we can collaborate with your prescribing doctor to wean off the thyroid medication.
I’ve taken hormones before. Is this like hormone replacement therapy?
No, this is different than hormone replacement therapy because the goal isn’t to give you hormones that you have to take forever to feel good. When we do use hormone supplements for a set amount of time, it’s at amounts that are 10x less than hormone replacement therapy. This is done to fill in the gap and retrain your brain to tell your organs to make the correct amounts of hormones. For most people, their bodies don’t make low amounts of hormones spontaneously, for no reason. Usually it’s either stress and adrenal fatigue, long-term digestive problems, or a liver detox problem that throws your hormones out of balance. With this program we work to fix the original cause of the problem, and then train your body to reset to its natural hormone production.