Can’t Lose Weight? Always tired? Brain fog? Depression?
You Could Have An Undiagnosed Thyroid Condition.
Having Thyroid Symptoms when your Labs are Normal?
Taking Thyroid Medications & STILL having Thyroid Symptoms?
We can help.
For someone suffering with a thyroid problem, everyday life becomes a struggle. Just getting through the day can become a challenge due to debilitating fatigue, frustration with weight gain, constant brain fog, or just not feeling quite normal. It’s at the peak of these troubles when most people normally visit their family doctor for help. Unfortunately, many are told that their lab testing is normal after a TSH blood test is performed and no real help is offered. Some will even be evaluated or treated by an Endocrinologist but still suffer the debilitating symptoms. Let’s explore why . . .
Why Your Labs May Be ‘Normal’
But You're Still Having Unresolved Symptoms
The normal thyroid gland produces three main thyroid hormones: 90% T4 and 10% T3 and 1% Reverse T3. The T4 is a pre-hormone and has to be ‘activated’ to T3 which is 5 times as potent as T4. The T4 can either be activated to T3 or it is made into ‘Reverse T3.’ If you were a car, the T3 would be your accelerator and the Reverse T3 would be your brake.
How much energy you produce will depend on how much you are accelerating relative to how much you are braking. The body, in its wisdom, controls energy production by determining how much T3 is made and how much Reverse T3 is made from the T4 produced by your thyroid gland. It is possible for you to have lots of T4, but if your body isn’t producing the right balance of T3 and Reverse T3, your energy suffers and your metabolism tanks. You are always tired, feel depressed, have brain fog, can’t lose weight and may also develop hair loss and chronic constipation. There are many reasons for improper activation of T4.
Doctors generally do not test T3 or Reverse T3 levels and so they never find the problem. Numerous people continue to suffer from undiagnosed thyroid problems.
So as you can see, It is possible to have a ‘normal’ TSH test result, and even a normal T4, while still suffering from thyroid symptoms.
Why You Can Still Have Unresolved Symptoms Even On Thyroid Medication
The most commonly prescribed thyroid medication is Levothyroxine (Synthroid) which is the T4 pre-hormone. It is presumed that the T4 is always converted to the active hormone T3 and is able to be utilized. This presumption is often false and therefore ‘therapeutic’ amounts of T4 or even Armour may not correct functional thyroid hormone deficiency. There are many causes for this including vitamin & mineral deficiencies, toxicity, stress and prescription medications.
Comprehensive testing can help determine if the prescribed thyroid medication is being processed properly by the body and appropriate adjustments can be made to resolve thyroid symptoms.
How to Optimize Your Thyroid Health & Your Vitality
In many cases, even when treatment with Levothyroxine or even Armour is started, it does not work well. This is why we use a variety of comprehensive tests to determine the root cause of the issue and develop holistic solutions that replete deficiencies, correct imbalances and treat conditions contributing to your thyroid symptoms. You are unique as an individual and your health care needs are also unique. This is why we give you personalized care tailored to you specifically; no generic solutions that leave you stalled in the vicious cycle of deteriorating health.
At Innovative Health & Longevity, we understand that this type of struggle can severely impact your marriage, family, relationships and your work. It’s for this reason that we prioritize in- depth care that makes your concerns our concerns. Whether you’ve been suffering for months or years, we will uncover what’s really going on so you can begin moving in the direction towards better health.
Common Thyroid Problems Include:
- Thyroid Nodules
- Autoimmune Disorder
Stop Missing Out Because of Thyroid Issues
Hashimoto’s (Autoimmune Thyroiditis) Is An Autoimmune Disease
It is more precisely a disease of the immune system that affects the thyroid. 90% of hypothyroidism in the US is caused by Hashimoto’s disease and 75% of those affected are women. Hashimoto’s was the first condition recognized as an autoimmune disease and 1/5 people with Hashimoto’s have another autoimmune condition.
Confirmation of Hashimoto’s is done with a simple blood test but often it is not performed because standard treatment is the same for any cause of Hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s. In Hashimoto’s disease, the thyroid function can fluctuate up & down over days, weeks, or months and can cause hypothyroid (low thyroid) and hyperthyroid (high thyroid) symptoms. Caution is advised with use of excessive doses of Iodine because it can stimulate the formation of antibodies against the thyroid gland.
Treatment for Hashimoto’s must take into consideration the autoimmune nature of this disease. Underlying causes should be determined and addressed if possible to control this disease and minimize risk of developing other autoimmune diseases.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism Include:
- Weight Gain (hard to lose weight)
- Weakness in muscles
- Cold Chills
- Dry Skin
- Brain Fog
- Decreased Sex Drive
Hyperthyroidism (HIGH Thyroid)
In hyperthyroidism the body has too much thyroid hormone and too much of a good thing causes trouble. People with this condition tend to be very hyperactive, nervous, can’t sleep, lose weight despite eating everything in sight and have a rapid heartbeat. Their eyes are bulging as if the eye sockets are not big enough for them. Their metabolism is in overdrive. The thyroid hormone output is controlled by the brain and pituitary signals. So how and why does the thyroid go out of control? Well it is not at all the thyroid gland’s fault; the immune system is once again the culprit.
For a variety of reasons (genetics, chronic infections, toxic exposures, etc.) the immune system makes an antibody that acts just like the TSH signal of the pituitary gland and drives the thyroid gland to over-produce its hormones. This is an auto-immune disease and the thyroid gland is its target. Graves’ Disease (named after the Irish Dr. Graves) is the common name of this condition.
Because of its effect on the heart, this condition can be life threatening and evaluation by a qualified doctor is urgent. About 40% of people with Graves’ disease get better on their own but the others do not. Even these 40% can get into trouble without proper medical care. Of course, you should immediately eliminate any stimulants including caffeine and start optimizing your lifestyle (diet, toxic exposures, stress level, etc.) to improve your chances for being in that 40% group.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism Include:
- Sudden Weight Loss
- Hot Flashes
- Anxiety & Nervousness
- Mood Swings
- Brain Fog
- Decreased Sex Drive
Some doctors use anti-thyroid drugs to control the runaway gland for about 18 months and at that time try stopping the drugs and hope the Graves’ has gone into remission. If the gland is still out of control, it is generally killed with radioactive iodine or in some cases removed surgically and the patients have low thyroid (hypothyroidism) for the rest of their lives. This of course commits these patients to taking thyroid hormone replacement forever.
Although Graves’ is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, there are other causes and it is imperative for doctors to prove that their patient has Graves’ before killing the gland. Simple causes like taking too much iodine, taking too much thyroid hormone or excess release of stored hormone from the gland (due to injury or inflammation) can also lead to hyperthyroidism. These causes are all reversible without killing the gland.
A word of warning: Never, ever, ever try to manage hyperthyroidism on your own without a doctor’s guidance. It can kill you.
A goiter is a thyroid gland that has become enlarged. This can happen due to a nutritional deficiency of iodine because without iodine the thyroid cannot make thyroid hormone and the pituitary gland keeps signaling it to produce hormone. This signal causes the gland to enlarge as it keeps trying to make thyroid hormone but cannot.
The widespread addition of iodine to salt and grains was done to avoid iodine deficiency but since many of us are starting to limit our salt and grain intake, we need to be cautious and be sure we have another source of this necessary nutrient. Eating seaweed is generally safe and a good source of iodine. We must be careful to avoid ingestion of too much iodine as some ‘holistic’ doctors recommend because that can cause serious problems too.
Goiters can also be caused by inflammation, tumors, cysts or even excessive iodine intake. The most common type of goiter in the U.S. is a ‘multi-nodular goiter’ and has a lumpy feel and appearance on ultrasound. These goiters result from the thyroid gland trying to heal itself after being damaged. The inflammation (thyroiditis) kills thyroid cells which are later replaced by new cells. The healing response triggers scar tissue formation and the regenerating thyroid cells grow within areas of scar tissue and form ‘nodules.’ These nodules are harmless and found fairly often. Thyroid cancers can also present as nodules and it is important to have any ‘lump’ of the thyroid properly evaluated by a doctor.
I have a passion for working with thyroid patients because I have hypothyroidism caused by H.T. myself. For many years I was told that my labs were borderline and I was offered no therapy; then due to progressive symptoms, I sought out a second opinion and was treated with Synthroid. This made me feel better only for a short time. I know what it feels like to have a thyroid gland that does not work. I know what it feels like when every step you take requires a sheer act of will power. I love to work with patients who want more out of life, recognize that the responsibility for their health lies with them, are willing to take charge, invest in themselves and put their health first.
I use a comprehensive approach including a detailed history (I listen to my patients for they usually know their problems and hold the key to the solutions). I perform in-depth lab testing which helps me to develop individualized holistic health solutions that incorporate the best of lifestyle & preventive medicine using state of the art research and technology.
My passion for helping patients continues to lead me to advance my education and constantly search the medical databases so that I can use the latest research to serve those who seek my help. I became certified in Functional Medicine after completing my Medical and Surgical training and have also done post-graduate training in a number of Integrative therapies. This allows me to combine the best of preventive integrative functional medicine with traditional healthcare.
I take the time to listen and understand your story. I approach you as a unique individual whose mind set, diet, lifestyle, environmental exposures, and genetics have impacted your current state of health and will impact your recovery process. If you want to uncover the underlying causes of your health problems and resolve them from the inside out using safe natural therapies then I am the right partner for your journey back to wellness. My holistic approach combines conventional, integrative and alternative therapies and allows me to help you get amazing results.