At Wiseman Family Practice we recognize there is an increasing number of patients with symptoms of hypothyroidism. Though only 4–6 percent of the population has overt hypothyroidism, a large number of the population goes undiagnosed due to imperfect diagnosis criteria, among other reasons. Although we consider the conventional lab value criteria of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) as one of the components needed for diagnosis, we also use a wider range of lab values such as free T3, free T4, thyroid antibodies, and reverse T3, among others. These are used to give us a more complete picture for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Equally as important as lab values are our patient’s symptoms. We understand that the current “normal laboratory range” changes with time and that it does not apply to everyone. We also realize that thyroid hormone, like all hormones in the body, declines with age and though a patient’s thyroid function might be normal, it may not be as optimal as when he or she was younger. At Wiseman Family Practice, we seek to address all of these problems.
What is thyroid hormone?
The thyroid hormone is produced by the butterfly shaped thyroid gland situated in the front part of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. Its function is to produce T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones) which are responsible for regulating and maintaining metabolism, mood, energy, weight, hair and skin quality, body temperature, to name a few. Some of the T3 thyroid hormone is also converted from T4 in the tissues outside the thyroid gland.
Why is hypothyroidism (low thyroid) so common?
The most common causes of low thyroid from a conventional medicine perspective are autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), treatment of hyperthyroidism, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery, medication side effects, pregnancy, iodine deficiency, congenital disease, and a pituitary disorder. At Wiseman Family Practice, we also focus on less conventional but equally as important reasons for thyroid imbalance. These reasons account for the vast majority of underdiagnosed cases and they include aging, hormonal imbalance (especially decreased estrogen and progesterone in women as they age), chlorine and fluoride consumption from “tap” water, increased pesticides and chemicals in our food, mercury dental fillings, and many dietary deficiencies, among others.
How do you treat hypothyroidism?
In many cases, eliminating some of the causes of thyroid imbalance will eventually result in the thyroid gland resuming normal function. At Wiseman Family Practice, we understand that one size does not fit all. This is especially true for hypothyroidism. Before medications are used we address nutraceutical and homeopathic options that can boost thyroid function naturally. Though we use the standard pharmaceutical T4 treatment of Synthroid or Levothyroxine when appropriate, many of our patients feel this treatment to be inadequate in relieving their symptoms. To provide the most comprehensive and patient centered care, we offer a number of “alternative” pharmaceutical T3/T4 combinations such Armour Thyroid and Nature Thyroid. Lastly, we compound bioidentical T3/T4 combinations at local compounding pharmacies, depending on patient need, to achieve the most effective thyroid replacement. This compounding process allows us to create a thyroid product that is pure, bioidentical, and customized for each patient. During treatment we monitor both symptom and lab improvement, especially free T3, which is often the most optimal lab value to follow for resolution of hypothyroid symptoms.
At Wiseman Family Practice, we treat the person not the lab value. We offer the most complete evaluation and the safest, most effective treatment for hypothyroidism. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms contact us today and make an appointment with Wiseman Family Practice for a complete consultation:
Symptoms of thyroid imbalance include:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Inability to lose weight
- Mental fog
- Thinning hair
- Thinning eyebrows
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Pale, dry skin
- Puffy face
- Hoarse voice
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Muscle weakness
- Heavier than normal menstrual periods
- Brittle fingernails and hair