The Benefits of Functional Medicine’s Holistic Approach to Hypothyroidism
Did you know that nearly 60 percent of those with a thyroid condition don’t know they have it? Left untreated, thyroid diseases such as hypothyroidism can progress and lead to severe medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, cognitive decline, and reproductive issues. Here is how a holistic approach to hypothyroidism safely and effectively reverses the causes of this condition.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Thyroid hormones affect every organ and cell in your body. They control heart rate, brain development, metabolism, digestion, muscle function, and cell replenishment.
Hypothyroidism occurs when an underactive thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone to support your body’s metabolic functions. Hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism, also known as overactive thyroid, which is a condition where your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone.
For those suffering from hypothyroidism, symptoms may seem vague and unrelated, including the following:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Muscle aches, cramps, and weakness
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Tingling in the fingers
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Weight gain
A holistic approach to hypothyroidism understands that while these symptoms are common complaints, they are abnormal and indicate an underlying condition.
Why a Holistic Approach to Hypothyroidism is Effective
Unlike conventional medicine, which uses replacement hormone medications, a holistic approach to hypothyroidism fixes the problem at its source.
Functional medicine relief for this condition involves reversing the systemic imbalances that cause it. These imbalances occur in several ways, such as poor nutritional choices, genetics, a poorly functioning immune system, prescription medications, Hashimoto’s disease, and environmental factors.
The first step in this holistic approach to hypothyroidism is uncovering the condition through comprehensive lab testing and a thorough assessment that looks at your medical history, diet, lifestyle choices, genetics, and environment, among many other factors.
Once hypothyroidism is identified, providers create wellness plans to restore the thyroid gland’s functionality. These plans include dietary adjustments, supplements, and vitamins to encourage the thyroid gland to produce more hormones naturally and other natural, safe, and effective modifications to your lifestyle and environment.
Functional Medicine Approach to Hypothyroidism vs. Conventional Medicine
While conventional medicine does offer effective treatment to restore the thyroid gland’s functionality, it does so through synthetic compounds to stimulate hormone production or artificially replace the hormones your thyroid gland no longer produces. This approach doesn’t consider the contributing factors related to the condition.
The most commonly prescribed compound is a thyroid hormone replacement medication called Levothyroxine. For many people this medication is adequate but comes with side effects, including the following:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Excessive sweating
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Lower bone density
- Mood swings
- Heat intolerance
- Menstrual changes
- Muscle cramps
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Dizziness and fainting
By comparison, the holistic approach to hypothyroidism is safe and effective, with no side effects or interactions with other medications.
Functional medicine’s approach to hypothyroidism includes diagnostic lab work to measure thyroid function, hormone levels, and other factors to get a deeper look into your overall health status.
Your functional medicine doctor will recommend thyroid-supporting dietary adjustments such as limiting gluten and increasing foods with natural anti-inflammatory nutrients. These foods stimulate the thyroid gland and lower your risk of thyroid-related complications.
Vitamins and Supplements
A holistic approach to hypothyroidism frequently involves supplements and vitamins to stimulate hormone production naturally. These may include vitamins A and D, magnesium, iodine, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Your environment exacerbates hypothyroidism. Our world is full of toxins, from preservatives in the foods we eat to additives in the water. Toxins exist in pollution, cleaning solutions, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, and more.
Functional medicine seeks to uncover these hidden toxins and formulate plans to minimize their impact on our health.
Your functional medicine doctor considers the role your lifestyle choices have as they relate to your hypothyroidism. Your wellness plan incorporates recommendations on relieving stress, improving the quality of your sleep, and ensuring that you are physically active.
Prescription Medications, if Necessary
While functional medicine always embraces natural solutions first, your functional medicine doctor can prescribe medications, if necessary, to help resolve your hypothyroidism.
Because a holistic approach to hypothyroidism and other conditions is all-natural, therapies will not interfere with prescription medicines. Functional medical physicians can be used alone as primary care providers or as trusted partners alongside conventional physicians and treatment plans.
True Life Medicine and the Holistic Approach to Hypothyroidism
The team at True Life Medicine in Colorado Springs understands the frustration our patients feel when conventional medicine falls short. Functional medicine fills these gaps with a comprehensive, safe, and practical holistic approach to hypothyroidism and other medical conditions.
Feeling sick may seem like the “new normal,” but make no mistake: there is nothing normal about feeling unwell. Start restoring your health and well-being by scheduling your free, no-obligation fifteen-minute discovery call.