Most people who have been told they are hypothyroid have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease.
Common themes in treating thyroid issues include:
Moving beyond TSH, I commonly test free T3, free T4 and TPO antibodies. At times we may also test thyroglobulin antibodies and reverse T3. These tests are done at Life Labs and usually must be paid for by the patient if they are not covered by MSP through your GP or endocrinologist. They may be covered by extended health insurance plans (check yours to verify). These extra tests have been very useful in my practice as TSH can look perfectly normal while low levels of free thyroid hormone or high levels of antibodies are leading debilitating symptoms of chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, digestive symptoms, weight gain, hair loss and skin issues.
I often prescribe thyroid medication for those people with severe symptoms. Helping someone feel better makes it a lot easier to start treating the root cause of the disease. I commonly prescribe natural dessicated thyroid (ERFA in Canada), but also prescribe Synthroid and Cytomel when appropriate.
Nutrition is fundamental to feeling better. This can include:
- Blood sugar balancing
- Elimination of common thyroid irritants and/or food sensitivity testing
- Addition of nutrients and herbal medicines that support thyroid function
Calming the overactive immune system
- Testing and repleting Vitamin D status
- Healing intestinal dysbiosis and hyperpermeability – digestive dysfunction is a common factor in autoimmune diseases
- Possible use of LDN (low dose naltrexone) or glutathione creams on the thyroid
- Detoxification – removing common thyroid irritants and improving the body’s ability to eliminate wastes
Supporting other systems
- Adrenal gland support and stress management tools often helps people feel a lot better – especially energy and sleep
- Digestive function
My clinical approach to treating Hashimoto’s has been strongly influenced by the work of Dr Alan Christianson, ND and Dr Izabella Wentz. If you are looking for a comprehensive treatment strategy, I would be happy to work with you.