27 Aug Hypothyroidism Treatment
Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (Autoimmune Hypothyroid)
If you are reading this you are probably frustrated from feeling sluggish, cold, depressed or anxious, brain foggy and just plain heavy. No matter how much sleep you get you just don’t feel rested. And why are you gaining weight despite all of your best efforts? You have been to your trusted doctor and told that everything looks fine on paper. You just need to lose weight and exercise more! But you are exhausted so how do you do that? You may have been offered antidepressants. If they aren’t working it is not your fault. They just aren’t treating the issue at hand.
It may be that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is at fault. This is hypothyroidism where the root cause is a misfire in the gut at the confluence of your gut membrane and immune system. This dysfunction occurs in such a way that your thyroid gland falls under attack. Friendly fire if you will. The result is hypothyroid symptoms which can be felt in many different parts of the body: fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, menstrual issues, constipation, depression/anxiety, feeling cold deep inside, dry skin, slow reflexes and more. You just know that something is wrong and it may even be hard to put your finger on it.
Hashimoto’s can fall through the diagnostic cracks pretty easily. It often happens in women around childbearing or perimenopause. There are many reasons for feeling tired during these dynamic hormonal times and it is easy to attribute issues to just being overwhelmed and/or over extended. Thyroid lab reference ranges differ state to state. Many people fall “within normal range” despite being clinically hypothyroid (meaning you have signs and symptoms consistent with hypothyroidism). These people are told that they are fine despite their symptoms.
It is common for people with Hashimoto’s to have results in the normal range. This is why it is important to check the antibodies “anti TPO and antithyroglobulin”. A reverse T3 while not directly associated with Hashimoto’s is another way to catch thyroid dysfunction so it doesn’t fall through the cracks of routine screening.
How does treatment for Hashimoto’s differ with a Functional Medicine (FM) Practitioner?
Your medical doctor generally will consider all hypothyroidism cases as the same. The underlying cause is not as important as the treatment. Treatment is thyroid replacement therapy with T4 medication like levothyroxine. Treatment stops here. The medical point of view is that the gland is going to burn out eventually and then medication will treat the hypothyroid condition effectively.
FM practitioners agree with treating hypothyroidism with medication. This can potentially protect the gland from some of the oxidative duress it is under. But the FM practitioner asks the question “Why?” repeatedly.
Why did this happen to this person at this time in their life?
What is happening with the gut membrane/microbiome that allowed the immune system to aim “friendly fire” at its own thyroid gland?
Are foods or infections driving this?
How does physiological stress play a role?
How are the other hormonal systems functioning?
Is the blood sugar under tight regulation?
And so on.
The art of medicine is to understand the unique process by which the dysfunction occurred in this personand to correct those systems as well as remove “obstacles to cure”.
This is what the personalized medicine revolution is. I think it is the most exciting advance in medicine for chronic health conditions that has ever happened. And at a good time as more and more people become ill with chronic health conditions.
There are many excellent authors writing on the topic of autoimmunity and Hashimoto’s specifically. Drs’DatisKharrazian, Isabella Wentz, Terri Wahls and Mark Hyman are a few of the luminaries in the field. Their books are well organized and user-friendly. I think they are great resources and a good idea to read. The topic of autoimmunity is complex. You will have a more productive visit with your FM provider if you have a basic understanding of the underlying concepts. Plus, it is fascinating.
My issue with these books is that they are very broad in their recommendations and even extreme in some cases. They lack common sense and personalization for the busy person who is already exhausted and depleted. People can feel discouraged and overwhelmed and give up.
Please don’t do that.
Find an FM practitioner to work through a personalized plan for you. Keep it as simple and achievable as possible. Set goals that are in your grasp so you can sustain change. Pace yourself: slow and steady wins this race.
For natural and holistic treatment of hypothyroidism in Tri-cities – Walla Walla, Richland & Kennewick, you can visit Walla Walla Naturopathic clinic.