A Functional Medicine Approach to Thyroid Health

Almost every single function in our body requires thyroid hormones from breathing and heart rate to the central nervous system and metabolism. But when your thyroid hormones become imbalanced, symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, hair loss and more start to kick in.

 

And this may sound all too familiar if you’ve been diagnosed with a thyroid condition such as:

 

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Graves’ disease
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Goiters
  • Thyroiditis
  • Thyroid nodules or cysts

 

So now what? With so much information online it’s difficult to know which treatment options will work best for your thyroid condition and unique health challenges. However, functional and integrative medicine is proving to be effective in healing thyroid symptoms and restoring health from the ground up.

A Root-Cause Approach to Care

Integrative and functional medicine providers treat thyroid conditions differently from conventional healthcare by understanding the root cause of your thyroid imbalance. They consider your symptoms, lifestyle and genetic factors to help you achieve:

 

  • Greater energy and regulated metabolism
  • Improved mood and sleep
  • Mental clarity
  • Reduced sweating, hot flashes, and feeling cold
  • Weight stabilization
  • Improved muscle strength

What are the treatment options integrative and functional medicine providers offer?

  • Labs – Functional medicine provider use thyroid labs with ranges that are much broader than conventional medicine and can detect thyroid issues prior to the onset of a more advanced thyroid disorder. Functional medicine lab tests also include additional markers beyond the typical TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels and include T3, T4 and reverse T3 as well as autoimmune markers.

 

  • Thyroid hormone supplementation – Some patients may benefit from thyroid hormone supplementation even with normal lab results. This is because a patient may have some thyroid hormone resistance in a similar way that people have insulin resistance. When appropriate, prescribing a trial of a low dose thyroid hormone replacement with Levoxyl or Armour or Nature-Throid or Westhroid can be done to determine if there is a benefit.

 

  • IV Therapy – IV therapy can deliver essential nutrients directly into the bloodstream, such as selenium and zinc which are critical to producing thyroid hormones within the thyroid gland. Typically, individuals with hypothyroidism can have lower than normal zinc levels which impacts healthy immune function. Selenium has also been shown to lower thyroid antibodies in patients with Hashimoto’s disease. Additionally, IV therapy can help decrease thyroid-related fatigue, boost energy levels and improve immunity.

 

  • Diet & Nutrition Counseling – The thyroid is highly nutrient dependent and what we eat has a direct effect on how the thyroid works. Diet and nutrition counseling can help you determine which foods inhibit your body’s ability to absorb the thyroid hormone, which foods are interfering with your thyroid medication and which foods can improve your thyroid function.

 

  • Nutraceutical Supplements: Using professional-grade dietary supplements can help relieve and heal thyroid symptoms, boost immunity and act as a preventative tool from your thyroid condition worsening.

 

  • Low-Dose Immunotherapy (LDI) – A treatment for “turning off” an overactive immune system so that you can better fight pathogens, reduce inflammation and support autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s disease and thyroiditis.

 

  • Stress management – Stress directly affects the immune system, nervous and endocrine systems and contributes to autoimmune disorders thyroid disorders. Successfully managing stress and getting to the root issue of why you’re stressed can help ease the burden on your thyroid condition.

 

  • Inflammation reduction – Avoiding foods with a high glycemic index, saturated and trans fats, alcohol consumption, smoking and processed foods can help reduce inflammation in the body and promote healing for your thyroid condition.

 

  • Toxin elimination – The thyroid is very sensitive to toxins such as pesticides, BPA found in plastics, cigarette smoke, lead and other chemicals. Using a medical-grade gut detox program will allow your body to purge unwanted toxins and heal your thyroid.

 

At Forum Health, our integrative and functional medicine providers have access to both conventional and natural treatments that promote the well-being of the whole person, not just treating a symptom. This personalized approach to address thyroid imbalance gets to the root cause and is beneficial for restoring health from the ground up.

 

If you’ve been suffering from a thyroid condition, or suspect you might be, click here to schedule your free 15-minute consultation with one of our health advisors.

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