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Thyroid Issues

thyroid issuesOur doctors evaluate thyroid function on our patients. Many people have low levels of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 which results in low energy, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin and a slow metabolism resulting in a lower body temperature. The thyroid is sensitive to exposure to toxins, and is linked to the health of our adrenal glands and liver function. The brain controls thyroid metabolism by the release of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). The main thyroid blood test (TSH) when elevated indicates a hypothyroid state while a low TSH lab result indicates an overactive thyroid condition.

Successfully treating a low or high thyroid requires treating the whole person and improving your health while targeting the most direct causes of thyroid disease. Naturopathic medicine addresses the many variables in thyroid disease and identifies the most important ones to address. In general conventional medicine treat hypo thyroid by prescribing only T4, Synthyroid (levothyroxin).

The thyroid is sensitive to chemical exposures and poor choices in diet. Women tend have thyroid problems more often than men as the thyroid is reactive to hormone changes such as pregnancy and the metabolic stress from birth control pills and menopause.

Our doctors evaluate the thyroid from three different angles: thyroid specific symptoms, whole body problems, and thyroid lab results including TSH, Free t3, T4 and levels of thyroid antibodies (indicative of Hashimoto's disease). Since reference ranges given by labs reflect the entire population and are broader than what researchers have declared as the “best levels for healthy people” we prefer our patients to be within a hormone range that is narrower than what is listed as acceptable on a lab report.

When assessing thyroid function, it is important to evaluate the whole person. This includes digestive functions, adrenal exhaustion, exposure to thyroid specific toxins, sluggish liver detoxification and chronic stress.

Treatment Plans

To be effective, treatment for thyroid health is individualized to your particular thyroid needs. We work with newly diagnosed hypo- or hyperthyroidism as well as with previously diagnosed disorders that have already been under treatment by another doctor.

During your treatment regimen, we may use an anti-inflammatory diet, identify and avoid food allergies and use nutritional, botanical, and homeopathic supplements as indicated.

When appropriate, individualized prescriptions of NatureThyroid a bioidentical T3/T4 prescription medication is used. For those already on Synthyroid prescriptions, we can transition to bio-identical Thyroid and a treatment plan that augments the effects of medication and reaches deeper to have an effect on a more causal level.

The use of environmental medicine also may be appropriate when working to balance thyroid function. This would include a clean diet, toxin avoidance, detoxification therapies, exercise, adrenal support, and stress reduction.

Because thyroid metabolism is so closely intertwined in every aspect of health it important to periodically have thyroid labs taken.

The thyroid is the controller of our metabolic level. When a low thyroid is balanced, you will clearly feel the difference with increased energy, faster metabolism, mental clarity, improved moods, more stable emotions healthier skin and better physical stamina.

*Note: Definitions adapted from Wikipedia.

THYROID:

The thyroid gland, or simply the thyroid, is one of our largest endocrine glands. It is found in the neck below the thyroid cartilage (which forms the laryngeal prominence, or "Adam's apple"). This gland dictates how quickly the body uses energy and makes proteins as well as controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones. It achieves this by producing its own thyroid hormones. The principal hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (also referred to as tetraiodothyronine, T4). These hormones regulate the metabolism rate and affect the growth and function of many other systems in the body.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.

ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE:

This is a multidisciplinary field involving toxins, environmental science, chemistry, and biology. It can be viewed as the medical branch of the broader field of environmental health. The scope of this field involves studying the interactions between the environment and human health, in particular the role of the environment in causing or mediating disease.

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