Thyroid Optimization

Thyroid health, especially hypothyroidism is one of the most heated areas of debate in medicine. I know I am extremely passionate about treating thyroid conditions. In the US about 14 million people suffer from Hypothyroidism and women are much more likely to be affected with 8 times greater risk of disease than men. Thyroid disease affects one in five women and one in ten men, however more than 50 percent of people with thyroid disease go undiagnosed, making hypothyroidism under diagnosed and under treated.

Among those who are correctly diagnosed, most are not treated adequately, either under-treated or treated with medications that do not deliver the best results for them.

The most common medication used conventionally is Synthroid, which is both synthetic and the inactive form of thyroid depending on the body to work optimally to convert it to T3 the active thyroid hormone.

The problem is that many people with thyroid problems and under-active thyroid actually have a problem in the conversion of the inactive form of thyroid T4 to the active form that the body actually uses and feels the benefits from, T3.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disease causing the body to attack its own thyroid gland resulting in a slow deterioration of the gland.

The controversy is over the underdiagnosing and under-treating of thyroid conditions in conventional medicine where thyroid conditions especially low functioning thyroid glands are dismissed for the most part unless they are very severely under-active.

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This is devastating to those who suffer from hypothyroidism but who may not show significant abnormalities in numbers up to ranges expected conventionally in TSH.

They may suffer from all the symptoms of hypothyroidism but if the numbers especially their TSH is not high enough or ‘bad enough’ according to conventional derided upon numbers they will be completely dismissed by conventional medicine.

The thyroid can be described as one of the master glands of the body and it dictates our metabolic health. It is really the queen of glands in that when it is not functioning properly one truly feels unwell. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rat controlling heart, muscle and digestive function, brain development and bone maintenance.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disease causing the body to attack its own thyroid gland resulting in a slow deterioration of the gland.

Other causes of hypothyroidism include iodine deficiency or other nutrient deficiency that the thyroid uses to optimally function such as zinc or iron, stress and adrenal dysfunction, toxicity with heavy metals or other environmental toxins, dieting and carbohydrate restriction, chronic infections, gastrointestinal problems, and hormone imbalance.

Symptoms Of A Low Functioning Thyroid Include:

  • Fatigue
  • Hard to get out of bed in the morning
  • Constipation
  • Hair Loss
  • Brain Fog/Difficulty
  • Concentrating
  • Irregular/heavy/painful periods
  • Infertility
  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Bloating
  • Hoarse Voice
  • Cold Intolerance
  • Dry Skin
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Muscle aches/Stiffness

The diagnosis of hypothyroidism is done conventionally by testing the TSH our thyroid stimulating hormone levels. However, this is not the complete way of testing for the problem and many people suffering from the disease can be missed. Conventional lab tests result in the under diagnosing and under treating of hypothyroidism. To correctly diagnose and treat hypothyroidism the correct tests must be run not just TSH. My thyroid panel includes 8 tests specific to the thyroid and many other tests that evaluate nutrients and other essentials of thyroid function. To learn more about controversies surrounding the treatment of hypothyroidism read Controversies In The Diagnosis And Treatment of Hypothyroidism.

In my practice aside from the most thorough testing I have a high index of suspicion for thyroid problems as they affect so many people and use clinical symptoms and judgement in addition to the numbers. This means that if someone is suffering from half or most all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism above and just as an example lets say their doctor told them their labs were normal, I am going to believe the person not the the lab. There could be a variety of reasons why someone would be suffering from symptoms but they are told labs are normal. One, it could be a lab error.

Laboratories make plenty of errors even the most reputable labs, although it’s important for you as the consumer to know that all laboratories are not created equal nor are all tests advertised out there by different labs reliable or accurate . For more information about labs you can read the section under Advanced Diagnostics, Accuracy of Lab Testing/Are All Labs Equal, Reliable, and Accurate?   

Another factor to consider is that different labs use different ranges of what is or is not considered ‘normal’.

If the physician does not use though and clinics judgement and just looks at the lab range patients with the disease can be missed, since for the same test one la may call one number ‘normal’ and another may not. Another factor is the huge range of what normal consists in most labs in America for thyroid function. Again clinical expertise is necessary to correctly decipher who may have a problem.

Regardless I take all of these factors into account and aways put the patients symptoms and physical exam first. Conventional doctors usually ignore the patients story and symptoms and even they physical signs if the labs are ‘normal’ to their eyes, and here is where a patient may be named difficult, or told that they may benefit from psychiatric drugs like antidepressants when in fact t their problem is hormone deficiency like hypothyroidism.

When the diagnosis is made I use a variety of treatments to treat hypothyroidism it is certainly not one size fits all, conventional medicine has one synthetic drug that everyone gets however there are active and inactive forms of thyroid hormones and I usually use both forms in combination by using medications that are natural and desiccated, I also may use only the active form of thyroid known as T3 however conventional doctors almost always use the inactive form of thyroid hormone or T4 that the body must then convert to T3 and this is exactly where many people have a problem and these are also among the people who are ignored conventionally.

About 7 percent of your thyroid hormone is the active form of T3 which acts on receptors found on the nucleus of cells sending messages to your DNA to turn up your metabolism, and increase the fat burning in your mitochondria. The active form of thyroid T3 is critical in making every system in your body work correctly and efficiently. T3 maintains optimal metabolism, keeps a healthy body weight and composition, lowers cholesterol, improves your memory, helps hair regrowth, helps infertility, soothes aching muscles and helps bowels work optimally relieving constipation and bloating. Most of the thyroid hormone in the body is in the inactive form of T4.

If the body is working optimally without illness, stress, nutrient deficiency, adrenal dysfunction, toxins, or infection the body converts T4 to the active form of T3.

However if this conversion step is impaired there is not enough T3 and the system does not work properly causing ill symptoms, weight gain, fatigue, brain for and GI symptoms and more.

Once correct treatment is implemented usually patients feel better rather quickly however in Functional Medicine that’s when our work has just begun, meaning we still have to uncover the WHY one has hypothyroidism in the first place.

Here is where we begin to assess the root causes of thyroid dysfunction that include autoimmune disease, toxicity, nutrient deficiency, adrenal dysfunction, stress and chronic infections. If the root causes are not addressed they will cause more and more dysfunction in the body therefore its imperative that we also address the lot cause to create better overall long term health and vitality.

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To schedule a Functional Medicine Consultation you can contact us by telling us more about you by filling out our New Patient Inquiry Form and we will contact you. At Advance Health Functional Medicine we treat Chronic infections and Lyme disease by addressing the core of health and underlying factors that may be playing a part in the disease progression as well as the disease itself so that improvements are for the long run and treatments result in improvements of all aspects of health of our patients.

To schedule a Functional Medicine Consultation you can contact us by telling us more about you by filling out our New Patient Inquiry Form and the Online Health Assessment and we will contact you. You can start improving your thyroid health right away by supporting and nourishing your thyroid with the nutrients it needs to help restore balance and work optimally with the Thyroid Health And Balance Kit.

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Dr. Rashel offers a mobile and virtual practice operating in the Greater Los Angeles and Denver area. This allows greater access and flexibility to patients while maintaining the high level of personalized medicine that works with you. Dr. Rashel operates a fee for service cash based practice model that does not accept private insurance or medicare for services. All services whether in-state, telemedicine, or other are billed on a cash for service basis. No Insurance billing or insurance payment is accepted for any or all services rendered.

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