Hypothyroidism - The Underdiagnosed Epidemic
Low thyroid function is one of the single most common hormone imbalances in the United States. Under-diagnosed and under-treated, hypothyroidism is an issue that cause significant quality of life challenges as well as a long list of symptoms including, but not limited to the following:
- Cold hands or feet
- Thinning or dryness of hair-skin-nails
- Trouble with memory or concentration
- Heavy or frequent menstrual cycles
- Metabolic imbalances
- Weight gain
- Low libido
- Menopausal symptoms
Thyroid hormone is the master regulatory hormone setting metabolic rate in every tissue of the body, and the list of symptoms one may experience can be quite long. Low thyroid function may show up on lab tests as well!
It is possible to have a low-normal free T4 or free T3, with elevated or high-normal TSH. Excessively broad laboratory reference ranges can cause a good deal of confusion: The upper end of normal TSH should probably be 3.0 according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), and the upper end of “optimal” TSH may actually be lower. But TSH by itself is a notoriously poor predictor of good health, and it can be completely unreliable when a patient is taking prescription thyroid replacement therapy.
Low thyroid function can be present even if lab tests are seemingly normal.
This may be due in part to skewed laboratory reference ranges as well as issues such as thyroid hormone resistance. Thyroid resistance causes cell receptors for thyroid hormone to not respond normally. Although many people have heard of “insulin resistance” which precedes adult-onset diabetes, most are unaware that other hormones can also have their own “resistance” syndromes.
Restoring thyroid function involves much more finesse and expertise than simply taking T4 (Synthroid or its generic equivalents), which in some cases actually worsens the slow metabolism. Assessing the body’s ability to convert the pre-hormone T4 into the biologically active hormone T3 is essential; supporting the thyroid gland itself is equally essential.
The single most common cause of low thyroid function is auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis), where the immune system attacks “self” tissue rather than pathogenic invaders such as foreign bacteria or viruses. Dr. Hoffman has seen many, many cases of undiagnosed auto-immune disease and views it as a national tragedy that so many people are not being diagnosed or treated appropriately.
If you would like to start on a plan to support and balance your thyroid function, call to set an appointment with one of our doctors. We have treated thousands of patients, and offer many supportive options for natural Thyroid care in Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa hypothyroidism care. Our doctors specialize in the treatment of thyroid imbalances using Naturopathic and Integrative approaches. Primary care thyroid doctors in Santa Rosa. Natural thyroid treatments.
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