Hypothyroidism

“I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel after seeing Dr. Steven Roach.”
 —Amanda A., Newton, NC

What is hypothyroidism, and is it different from Hashimoto’s Disease?

The word hypothyroid means having low-thyroid symptoms (see Symptoms under Low-Thyroid Problems), and this can be from a number of different causes. This person might have a temporary condition, or hypothyroidism might be lifelong. Also, for 90% of the people with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroid Disease is the cause. (See Hashimoto’s Disease, under Low-Thyroid Problems.)

Can a person have hypothyroid symptoms even if a thyroid blood test shows “normal” results?

Yes. First, those symptoms might not be thyroid-related. For example, symptoms related to a hormonal imbalance or poor blood-sugar control (hypoglycemia or insulin resistance) can be mistaken for a thyroid problem. Another problem is that hypothyroid symptoms that ARE related to the thyroid often go undetected in a traditional medical setting, because patients often have normal thyroid blood tests while still having hypothyroid symptoms. These symptoms need to be addressed properly to prevent further damage to the body and to healthy brain function.

How do Functional Medicine doctors address hypothyroid symptoms?

Dr. Steven Roach knows that a person’s low-thyroid symptoms will be resolved only by identifying and managing all the root causes involved. Without addressing these, low-thyroid symptoms will continue, even if someone is already on thyroid replacement hormone. The body might be having trouble converting the inactive form of thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form (T3); and the kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal tract need to be healthy. There might be a hormonal imbalance that is interfering with thyroid hormone or, even more common, a problem with a patient’s cells being able to receive the thyroid hormone that is available. These are just a few possible causes. (See more about Functional Medicine in the Menu.)

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