Hypothyroidism (low functioning Thyroid gland) most commonly manifests as fatigue, cold intolerance, weight gain, constipation, hair loss, dry skin, muscle aches, and menstrual irregularities. The specific symptoms can vary depending on one’s age, degree of illness, and/or concurrent medical problems. We see Hypothyroidism, and especially its autoimmune variant, as a rapidly growing problem in women today.
Do you have it?
The standard approach to confirm a diagnosis of hypothyroidism is to check a TSH level. If this number falls within the wide reference range that the lab provides: you will be sent home and told to pursue other possible explanations for your symptoms. This lack of nuance, although a frequent consequence of the conventional managed care model, can result in a missed diagnosis.
At DCIM, our approach includes assessing all aspects of thyroid function — that can include a TSH, but typically includes at least 4 other markers as well as autoimmune markers and the associated nutrients that are critical for thyroid health, like: Selenium, Iron, Magnesium, and Vitamin D. Moreover, our attention goes beyond looking at just the numbers. We need to listen to what your body is telling us about function, and your body doesn’t always speak in simple numbers.
What can we do?
Clinicians who think about interacting systems, as we do at DCIM, will help you understand how infections, gut imbalances, inflammation, nutrient deficiencies and stress can negatively impact thyroid hormone output. So the first thing we do at DCIM is to attempt to address those thyroid “leeches. Sometimes that’s all you need! Other times, it is appropriate to consider thyroid replacement hormone, but that shouldn’t be the beginning of the inquiry.
Where does this leave you?
If you have been told you do not have a thyroid condition but feel symptomatic, or alternatively have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism but continue to be symptomatic — please consider that your evaluation and treatment may be less than complete. DCIM can offer more.
© District Center for Integrative Medicine 2019