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The holistic approach to treating hypothyroid is to look at the entire pathway to optimize thyroid function. The treatment may involve stopping drugs such as birth control pills or synthetic estrogens, and looking at dietary habits to use strategies that focus on maximizing the body’s own thyroid production and utilization.
The thyroid hormone acts as the body’s metabolic regulator. In hypothyroidism, the metabolic rate is reduced. Every single muscle, organ and cell in the body depends on adequate thyroid hormone levels for achieving and maintaining optimal functioning. Therefore symptoms of hypothyroid disease are many and diverse. The following are some symptoms, but not exclusive: brittle nails, cold hands and feet, cold intolerance, dry skin, elevated cholesterol, eyelid swelling, fatigue, hair loss, hypotension, infertility, menstrual irregularities, muscle cramps, poor memory, puffy eyes, weight gain. As a result of treatment, many overweight people experience weight loss.
The thyroid produces two major thyroid hormones, Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). These two hormones affect the metabolism of every cell. T3 is more active than T4 and T3 is the thyroid hormone that actually increases the metabolism inside the cells. T4 converts to T3 as needed inside the cells of the body.
So, what is TSH and why is it measured? TSH, known as Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, is secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulates the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormone. If the thyroid hormones are low, the pituitary gland puts out more TSH to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone. So, if the TSH is normal it is believed by most conventional doctors that the thyroid gland is putting out sufficient thyroid hormones. This may not be the case, which is why Dr. Psonak, as a holistic doctor, will also look at other diagnostic tools, basal body temperature log and the whole clinical picture to accurately diagnose hypothyroidism.
Once a diagnosis of hypothyroidism is established, Dr. Psonak always recommends desiccated thyroid extract (DTE), or Armour Thyroid. His clinical experience with using desiccated thyroid has shown that it is a superior product as compared to a synthetic version of levothyroxine such as Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid or Unithroid. The synthetic versions only give out Thyroxine - T4 whereas the desiccated thyroid derived from porcine has T4, the more active T3 and other factors that allow T4 conversion to T3 more readily.
What to expect when you come for thyroid evaluation is a complete history and physical, a complete thyroid panel that includes: TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Factor), fT3 (Free T3), fT4 (Free thyroxine T4), Reverse T3, Anti-TG Antibodies, Anti-TPO Antibodies. Alternatively, this test can be ordered directly from our website prior to visiting or phone consulting with Dr. Psonak by clicking HERE.
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