Thyroid disorders – hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Graves disease
Do you have symptoms of thyroid dysfunction?
Symptoms of an under functioning thyroid; hypothyroidism
- Fatigue, always feel tired, low energy
- Unexplained weight gain
- Always feel cold especially in the extremities hands and/or feet
- Needing more sleep to make it through the day
- Difficulty losing weight even while exercising and on a low calorie diet
- Depression and lack of motivation
- Thin brittle hair or hair that falls out a lot
- Loss of the hair on the outside part of the eyebrows
- Morning headaches that wear off as the day goes on
- Dryness of the skin and/or scalp
- Feel confused and in a fog
- Catch colds easily or are always sick
Symptoms of an over active thyroid or hyperthyroid:
- Shaking or trembling
- Puffy face
- Weight loss or difficulty gaining weight
- Hoarse voice
- Protruding eyes (bug eyes)
- Goiter – enlarged thyroid gland – swelling in the lower neck
- Rapid pulse even if laying in bed
- Nervous and too emotional
- Ability to feel your heartbeat in your chest or occasional fluttering
- Trouble sleeping
- Night sweats
Perhaps you feel that you have symptoms from both of the above list. This suggests that you may have an autoimmune disorder relating to the thyroid gland. Do you or someone in your family have an autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome)? If so, hormone replacement therapy will not get at the root of the problem because you have thyroid signs and symptoms secondary to an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune thyroid means that your own immune system is attacking your thyroid gland. Typically with an autoimmune thyroid your lab work and perhaps your symptoms seemingly unexplainably vary from good to bad and up and down from month to month. Does this sound like you?
Even if your situation does not relate to an autoimmune thyroid, there are many mechanisms for an under functioning thyroid. Yet typically there is only one method of treatment, hormone replacement therapy. Does that make sense? Does that address the mechanisms or the cause?
In fact, most times the only lab value that is monitored is TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone. TSH is monitored in order to determine what the proper amount of hormone replacement should be. However, thyroid replacement therapy will mostly be effective for only one of the many mechanisms that can cause thyroid dysfunction. This may explain why if you still have symptoms from the list above even though you are on Synthroid, Levothroid, Levothyroxine, Levoxyl, etc. Testing for TSH alone is inadequate to properly assess thyroid function. This would be like a handy man that only had a hammer. He would look for nails to hammer, but he would hammer everything screws, bolts, nails. However, he would only be effective when he hammers the nails.
Now let’s talk about complications and interactions of the thyroid. The thyroid is a butterfly’s shaped gland located in the front of the neck that controls metabolic rate. Thyroid function is interrelated with many other functions and systems such as estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, liver function, essential fatty acids and gut function. There are also many medications which influence thyroid function. Do you know what they are? If you are on hormone replacement therapy and still have symptoms, have you had these issues evaluated?
Our approach begins with a thorough history evaluating not just the thyroid in isolation but all systems with particular attention to those that may interact with the thyroid. From that point, screening and then more detailed laboratory testing if warranted is ordered. We then determine what the mechanism behind your thyroid dysfunction and what other system interactions are involved. At that time, we will sit down with you and explain your condition and your treatment options in a detailed fashion until we are certain that you understand what is going on with your body. We want to make certain that you are not unsure of what to think or do next. Our treatment protocols include supplements (vitamins, minerals and botanicals) and diet. They involve no pharmaceuticals. In fact it is our goal to get you off of any medication that you are currently taking.
Our treatment plans are all evidence based and even though you should feel better once you’re engaged in the treatment plan, we monitor the specific laboratory findings which we have identified to be an issue in your particular case to ensure that you are truly moving in the right direction.
If this treatment approach seems thorough and logical to you and you would like to find out more call the office at (813)-935-4744 to schedule a consultation. In order to get the most out of your consultation, please bring any prior records or laboratory studies, a list of all your current medications and write down any symptoms and questions you may have so that you don’t forget them. Feel free to bring a friend or family member for comfort and support.