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HYPOTHYROIDISM

Hypothyroidism is a very common disorder of the thyroid where the amount of hormones secreted by the thyroid gland is not sufficient to support our body’s normal function.

It is important first to establish what type of thyroid insufficiency is responsible. Hashimoto thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition, is most common. Many times autoimmune diseases are accompanied by other conditions as well, so additional testing may be necessary.

If hypothyroidism is not diagnosed and properly treated, the patient may be treated for incorrect conditions and become debilitated in the process. The diagnosis is sometimes very obvious, but in many cases we need to look into several tests to verify the right diagnosis.

Conventional medicine usually looks at TSH, and if that is normal, the diagnosis is excluded. This is most unfortunate, as that test alone is not always reliable. We at Lakeview Integrative Medicine look much more comprehensively and evaluate several other markers, many times obtaining a diagnosis that has been overlooked for years.

As far as treatment is concerned, the conventional approach is to only give T4. The thyroid gland makes two hormones: T4 and T3. Many patients don’t do well only receiving T4. In our clinic, we use a variety of thyroid replacements, most of the time containing T4 and T3, which allows the patient to improve their symptoms in a more natural manner.

If you have a thyroid condition, it is important to investigate Vitamin D levels and Iron in your blood, as the deficiency of any, or both, can contribute to hypothyroid symptoms.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the right diet. As with any autoimmune condition, gluten should be avoided. We also look into other kinds of food allergies, both immediate and delayed response. Lastly, it is also important to evaluate the health of the gastrointestinal tract, as a good part of the immune system resides there, and the presence of unwanted infectious agents or lack of adequate good bacteria has to be balanced before achieving optimal health.