The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in the body. If the thyroid gland is under-functioning it is known as hypothyroidism. The most common symptoms that accompany the diagnosis are fatigue, hair loss, constipation, weight gain, dry skin, absent or delayed menstrual cycle, cold intolerance, low libido, and depression. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the more common ways in which the thyroid hypo-functions. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the individual’s immune system turns on itself and begins to attack the body’s tissues, in this case the thyroid gland. The attack on the thyroid can initially cause an increase in release of the thyroid hormones but eventually the hormones will dwindle as the gland is destroyed causing the thyroid gland to fail. Once this occurs thyroid replacement is often very helpful.
At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors we thoroughly diagnose and monitor our hypothyroid patients by testing TSH, T4 total, T3 total, Free T4, Free T3, Anti-TPO, and Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies. There are other tests that we commonly utilize to determine what caused the hypothyroidism initially. The issue that needs to be addressed in addition to the low thyroid function is the root cause of thyroid disruption that may still be negatively impacting the body in other ways.
Causes of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Wheat gluten and other food sensitivities
- Chemical and metal exposures: Mercury
- Viral illness
Causes of Hypothyroidism
- Mineral deficiencies particularly selenium, vitamin E, zinc and B vitamins are needed to convert T4 to T3 the more active of the thyroid hormones.
- Adrenal function
- Lifestyle: Stress, poor diet, smoking are all factors and cause stress to the body which affects thyroid function.
There are many different options to replace or to assist optimal thyroid function. The first option is a natural preparation derived from porcine thyroid glands containing both T4 and T3. Examples include NP Thyroid and Armour Thyroid. The second option is synthetic T4 , which is mostly commonly known as Synthroid or levothyroxine. A newer option is now available that many patients respond with improved energy called Tirosint. Sometimes synthetic T3 is needed to be prescribed if blood levels of Free T3 are low . It may be utilized solely or in combination with a T4 medication. Your Naturopathic Physician will review the best options bases on symptoms and labs and work with you to fine tune you for optimal thyroid hormone activity.