Hypothyroidism, Naturopathic Doctor Discusses the Causes

Hypothyroidism is on many patients’ minds.  Do they have it?  Are their symptoms related? What if their labs are normal? Trying to find answers through your insurance based doctor can be challenging.  If your symptoms don’t fit perfectly inside the box of the medical description for hypothyroid then the search for the cause of your symptoms usually stops here- all normal.  Even treatment is not one size fits all.  Varying degrees of treatment work for different people.  Often a medical doctor may not know what else to do. Naturopathic doctors understand that you are an individual and one size does not fit all.  There are many things to consider when treating hypothyroidism, therefore we must take an integrative approach.

Let’s talk about symptoms first.  Fatigue, hair loss, dry skin are common but if we look at you from a holistic view including the whole body; symptoms can include so many things that may not even make sense such as painful periods, brain fog or even depression.   Many patients who have come to me for painful periods or perimenopausal symptoms have had them completely resolve when on the proper form of thyroid medication and hormone support. It is very holistic thing to see when the body readjusts as the hormones are back in balance. Alternative medicine is all about including odd and unusual symptoms as part of the whole problem and the solution.

Finding the cause is an important part of treating hypothyroid in a naturopathic fashion.  Your case likely has a different collection of causes than the next person.  In addition, often the thyroid gets blamed for not functioning properly when it is other systems that have been taxed and cannot provide adequate support. For example, adrenal fatigue is a fairly common cause that is recognized among integrative practitioners particularly in a patient who has had to push through school or motherhood with young children.  This patient needs a holistic treatment plan to support her adrenals, her thyroid function throughout the body not just her thyroid and lifestyle adjustments to allow her body to heal.  Menopause is another key time when the liver is taxed and overwhelmed with keeping up with the hormonal changes so the thyroid’s requests may be interpreted as not important.  This patient may need some menopausal or hormonal support, sleep support and some simple detox methods to get her back on a natural rhythm.  These are all simple but targeted natural treatments that your naturopathic doctor can recommend.

In addition to these adrenal and menopausal causes, your naturopathic doctor may find that food intolerances or food allergies may be contributing to your hypothyroid diagnosis. Gluten often is a culprit in irritating the thyroid but we can also test a wide range of foods to see if any of them are causing your Hashimoto’s. Many patients may not even know that they have Hashimoto Hypothyroid unless the Thyroid Perioxidase Antibody (TPO) lab is also run in their blood draw.  The food intolerance test is a simple finger stick at our Journey of Health Medical Clinic so no need to be concerned about another blood draw.  This is not the IgE that you have run for allergies.  (See my food intolerance blog to understand more about the differences here.)  We have done over 500 of these with one of the most reputable and reasonably priced companies in the business of food intolerances.  Alletess.org has helped us take a holistic approach by identifying those often mysterious foods for patients.

As a holistic doctor, we are still considering that you may not even fit into these categories mentioned above as a cause for your hypothyroid or Hashimoto’s and there are still more causes that are less often part of the picture but still a potential instigator in your symptoms. Nutritional deficiencies are a possibility. MTHFR is a genetic change that can affect your methylation status.  That big word means utilizing hormones, vitamins, etc properly and being able to detox our cells properly. (See my MTHFR blog.) By adjusting your methylation, we can often see shifts in your thyroid related symptoms as well.  Integrative medicine allows us to choose which treatment options work best for you and to address all the possible causes for hypothyroid challenges.

We specialize in this kind of thing and see it frequently in our office so it’s not a new idea for us. Getting the right care for your body is important and tailored for your specific body in mind. At Journey of Health we are dedicated to finding the right naturopathic solutions for each patient. We proudly serve the San Diego area, providing some of the best service in naturopathic medicine. If you wish to further your own journey of health with naturopathic solutions and alternative medicines, give us a call at (619) 772-1164.

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