Let’s start with the empowering news from a Doctor we highly respect:
“Over my several decades working as a Functional Medicine doctor, I can assure you that even in the toughest cases, you can heal your thyroid.” ~Dr. Mark Hyman, MD
Why do we care so much about healing your thyroid? Because, too many of our clients have suffered for years before seeing us.
Here are the first steps we take to getting them back to feeling great:
Obtain a FULL thyroid evaluation based on a thorough health history, physical exam as well as obtaining lab work consisting of a comprehensive thyroid panel.
Eat a nutrient rich diet to help support the thyroid gland as well as a gluten-free diet to minimize any chances of autoimmune thyroid problems.
Rule-out adrenal dysfunction with an Adrenal Stress Index.
Self-Care to prioritize adequate amounts of Sleep, Recovery from exercise, and implement stress reducing activities
Now that you have a roadmap of how we are going to get you moving, we have to start with your foot on the gas. In this case your thyroid. Like the gas pedal gives your car the fuel to drive, your thyroid gland allows you to produce energy at the cellular level and function throughout the day. When it fails, you do too… and you will crash… with fatigue and a list of other symptoms: malaise, weight gain, muscle aches and tendon issues, gastrointestinal upsets, constipation or IBS, foggy brain, depression, inability to handle stress, insomnia, headaches, and the list keeps going.
More than 80% of Hypothyroid patients, are auto-immune thyroiditis, aka “Hashimoto’s”. The reason why so many are never told this is because the complete thyroid blood panel is not run. Even more disturbing, the thyroid antibodies are often not tested at all! Doctors and Endocrinologist often skip this part of the test because it does not change the medication they would be prescribing.
All hypothyroid patients are given the same prescription regardless if antibodies are present or not. Do you want to be treated like the masses? Of course not!
When the antibodies are positive or elevated it means there is an immune response happening in the body. The antibodies are attacking and targeting the thyroid gland and all its many functions and possibly attacking other systems and tissues. When a patient starts on a prescription to help their under active thyroid it will treat the lab reading of the TSH but very often is not treating the body’s attack on the gland. And when the gland is being attacked by our own body it brings with it the long list of symptoms mentioned above.
Continuing on our road to wellness, let’s get back to our map.
Route 1: Obtain a FULL thyroid evaluation
There is no one perfect way, no one symptom nor test result, that will properly diagnose low thyroid function or hypothyroidism. The key is to look at the whole picture – your symptoms and your blood tests – and then decide.
Doctors typically diagnose thyroid problems by testing your TSH levels and sometimes your free T4 level. But some doctors and clinicians have brought the “normal” levels of those tests into question.
To get a complete picture, Dr. Hyman recommends looking at a wider range of functions:
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), the ideal range is between 1 and 2 m IU/ ml
Free T4 and free T3 (the inactive and the active hormone)
Thyroid antibodies (TPO), looking for an autoimmune reaction that commonly goes undiagnosed if the other tests are normal, as doctors don’t routinely check this.
At Integrative Acupuncture we can work with your physician to order these tests and interpret the results which can provide a more comprehensive picture of how your thyroid is functioning.
Route 2: Diet
Once we’ve determined thyroid function it’s time for nutritional support. Eat foods that repair your thyroid and avoid those that don’t. Every step on your road to healing depends on proper nutrition and using food to communicate the right information to your genes.
Our team has a keen understanding of the foods that are supportive and the foods that are not. We can set up a consultation with our in-house board certified holistic nutritionist who specializes in thyroid conditions.
Route 3: Adrenal Stress Index
Next stop on your journey is a common form of chronic stress – adrenal gland exhaustion or burnout. This condition particularly becomes dangerous for hypothyroidism. Adrenal gland exhaustion occurs when your adrenal glands are unable to keep up with the physiological needs created by stress. Therefore, we want to rule it out.
Route 4: Self-Care
Let’s take a turn in a new direction; treating yourself to wellness. Exercise is your first destination, because it stimulates thyroid gland secretion and increases tissue sensitivity to thyroid hormones throughout the body. Ideally, you will want to sweat, and the exercise should be vigorous, in relation to your fitness level. Continuing on, you want to give yourself proper recovery time from your workouts. Next, implement stress reducing activities such as meditation, petting a dog or walking through a beautiful garden. And when your day of self-care is over, prioritizing the right amount of sleep during the ideal hours is crucial.
Your body was created to be a well-oiled machine, designed to perfection. We want to help you keep it running with ease and comfort. Contact us at 561-819-0530 to map out your thyroid recovery journey. It will be well worth the trip.