Thyroid problems can affect the entire body and negatively impact your quality of life. Common symptoms of a malfunctioning thyroid include fatigue, weight gain, and muscle weakness. Most doctors cannot diagnose hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism by just looking at the symptoms. This is because most symptoms of thyroid dysfunction are easily mistaken for other conditions.
Blood tests can help detect the real cause of your symptoms, but fixing a thyroid condition requires fixing the root cause, which could be low iodine levels, poor diet, problems with the immune system, among other factors. Functional medicine helps restore the functioning of your thyroid gland by treating the cause rather than the symptoms.
This article will reveal how this treatment plan works.
What are the Two Types of Thyroid Conditions
The thyroid gland is the gland at the front of your neck responsible for thyroid hormone production. Thyroid hormone helps organs like the brain and heart function well while also regulating energy levels, temperature, and metabolism. Problems with the thyroid gland can cause issues such as low sex drive, gut problems, weak bones, weight loss or gain, low energy, fatigue, hair loss, and thinning, among others.
When the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, you experience hypothyroidism. When it goes on an overdrive, you experience hyperthyroidism. And these conditions aren’t rare. Over 20 million Americans have thyroid function issues.
Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid problem in the United States. The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are dry skin, depression, fatigue, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, menstrual changes in women, and weight gain.
How Does Functional Medicine Treat Thyroid Conditions?
To treat low thyroid function, a functional medicine practitioner will aim to treat the underlying causes. The main causes of hypothyroidism are:
- Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease. This condition is common among people who have rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.
- Pituitary hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland can also fail to make enough thyroid hormone due to environmental or nutritional issues such as deficiencies, inflammation, stress, hormonal imbalance, surgery, and certain types of treatments.
Conventional medicine treats thyroid disease through the use of thyroid-stimulating hormone supplements. However, this treatment does not treat autoimmune thyroid disease completely. In an autoimmune disease, the body attacks itself because it thinks a certain part is a foreign, dangerous entity. Simply producing more thyroid hormones does not tell the body to let down its autoimmune defenses.
In addition, some people react poorly to thyroid medication. By fixing the underlying genetic, nutritional, and immune issues responsible for thyroid disease, natural medicine has successfully helped restore thyroid functioning in patients. Functional medicine practitioners combine conventional treatment with holistic techniques to help patients with thyroid disease. Many patients may never know that they are suffering from thyroid problems because these symptoms are shared among many other conditions, and you need a professional diagnosis before buying over-the-counter medication.
Functional medicine doctors collaborate with the patient in drafting a diet plan that will help their bodies produce enough thyroid hormones. These diets might include meals rich in probiotics, low-sugar foods, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. They might also include vitamin, mineral, and iodine supplements in the treatment plan, especially Vitamin B-12, selenium, and zinc supplements.
Foods that support optimal thyroid function include:
- Brazil nuts
- Grass-fed beef
- Sesame seeds
- Peas and beans
The Advantages of Using Functional Medicine To Treat Thyroid Disease
Functional medicine is a partnership between the doctor and the patient. The doctor will spend time collecting important data about your overall health, genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors that could be responsible for thyroid dysfunction. This approach has many advantages:
- It prevents diseases caused by a poor diet.
- It is patient-centered, hence giving you full control over your thyroid health and treatment.
- Functional medicine is cost-effective as it focuses on preventative approaches that promote good health.
- It is not based on prescription medicine; hence it is low-risk for side effects.
Are Functional Medicine Doctors Qualified to Treat Thyroid Diseases?
Yes! Our doctors are fully certified and routinely treat under and overactive thyroid conditions. Even more important is the fact that functional medicine consistently provides patients with relief. Conventional medicine doesn’t always achieve the same level of results.
A functional medicine practitioner must first complete training in conventional medicine as this natural approach to thyroid issues requires a combination of both natural and prescription medicine to regulate the production of thyroid hormones. You can find a practitioner from the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) or ask within your medical circle. True life Medicine is located right outside Colorado Springs and can care for your health needs.
Book an appointment today to:
- Treat chronic autoimmune diseases using alternative methods.
- Get a personalized approach to long-term thyroid issues.
- Get treatment from a certified healthcare professional who follows the standards set by the American Thyroid Association.
- Restore overall hormone levels using natural treatments