A critically important gland in your endocrine system, which produces hormones to help regulate the body’s metabolic rate and weight, is the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland is located at the front of the neck just below the larynx, is butterfly-shaped, and is made up of two lobes on either side of the windpipe. When the thyroid is functioning normally, it keeps your body’s metabolism running smoothly and in balance.
However, sometimes the thyroid stops working efficiently, and you develop symptoms from a thyroid hormone deficiency. This is called Hypothyroidism.
Also known as underactive thyroid, Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by the lack of thyroid hormone production. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible since it usually worsens over time and, if left untreated, can be a contributing factor to many other health problems such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, obesity, joint pain, infertility, and blood sugar imbalances.
Depending on the severity of your thyroid hormone deficiency, the symptoms of Hypothyroidism can vary greatly. Signs such as fatigue and weight gain are the most common and are often early signs of the thyroid not working correctly. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Suppose you are experiencing these symptoms or have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. In that case, you must consult a medical professional such as our experts at Robinhood Integrative Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Diagnosing and treating Hypothyroidism takes a careful and diligent approach. This is how we do things differently.
We believe that there are many times traditional doctors miss subtle cases. The standard approach to diagnosing and treating Hypothyroidism relies solely on one test, the TSH test.
While this test is helpful, it often is not enough to catch all cases of Hypothyroidism, which should be treated differently. That is why we will use a full thyroid panel, including TSH, Free T3, Total T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, and Thyroid Antibodies.
We do differently interpret the lab results through an Integrative or Functional medicine lens. There is a big difference between lab results being “normal” and “optimal.”
For example, the active form of thyroid hormone is Triiodothyronine (T3). This is what is primarily responsible for energy and metabolism. A “normal range” of Free T3 is between 2.0 and 4.4. People will feel much different with a T3 of 2.2 compared to a T3 of 4.2. Unfortunately, this is a type of subtle case of Hypothyroidism that is often missed.
We also have different tools available for treatment. We believe that the medications that typically have the best symptomatic improvement are the desiccated thyroid medications like NatureThroid, Armour, or NP Thyroid.
Some people will do fine with Synthroid (Levothyroxine), but many people do not convert T4 into T3 efficiently, so those medications are not the best option. The treatment protocol will also depend on whether or not you have Hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroid disease). If you have Hashimotos, we will often use immune-modulating therapies to help control the autoimmune process.
If you feel you may be at risk for Hypothyroidism or feel like your treatment has not been optimized and are looking for expert treatment in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, contact our medical experts at Robinhood Integrative Health.
We strive to provide you with the best possible care and work with you as a partner to help you achieve your health goals. Our team will truly listen to your needs and dedicate the time and energy needed to make sure we meet those needs.
The approach we take to medicine is unique in that we are committed to personalized medicine. Everyone should be treated according to their individual requirements rather than the “one-size-fits-all” model. Please fill out our New Patient Screening form and get started today.