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  • Writer's pictureDavid S Klein, MD

Natural Approach to diagnosing and treating Low Thyroid function, Hypothyroidism




Hypothyroidism is a state of low metabolism resulting from low thyroid hormone levels, anti-body issues with thyroid hormone itself, the receptor or cellular transport mechanisms.


Many people of symptoms of hypothyroidism. It is one of the most common of all clinical problems encountered in primary care. It can also be one of the most challenging. Why is that?


Diagnosing hypothyroidism

  1. There is no single blood test that is useful to diagnose or treat the majority of patients. In spite of what we were taught, TSH alone is not even close to being a 'gold standard.' Fools gold is more like it. A normal TSH only suggests that your pituitary thinks that things are 'normal.' Euthyroid Sick is the medical diagnosis for clinical hypothyroidism given a 'normal TSH level.

  2. Conversion of T-4 to T-3 is necessary for secreted thyroid (and orally ingested thyroid hormone, like levothyroxine, to become the active form of the hormone. Sixteen percent (16%) of the population has some difficulty making this conversion. One person in 6 is thereby metabolically challenged, consistent with a normal TSH.

  3. Presence of thyroid peroxidase antibody, anti-thyroglobulin or thyroid receptor antibody will also give you a 'normal' TSH with a very different clinical picture.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism evaluation should include TPA and ATG titers, Cortisol levels, and gonadotropin (sex hormone) levels. There are many ways to become hypothyroid.


 

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition where the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the body's needs. It's typically treated with synthetic thyroid hormone medication, such as levothyroxine (Synthroid), to replace the missing hormones and restore normal thyroid function. This medication is usually effective and well-tolerated when prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional. Levothyroxine is cheap, available and works MOST of the time. What if it does not help you?


Natural Approach to Treating Hypothyroidism


If you do not respond to the typical prescription of levothyroxine, you likely need something else. My preferred approach is to use a natural thyroid hormone preparation, containing T-4 as well as T-3, with T-2 and T-1, as well. It is what your body produces and it is likely what you need to regain your health.



 

Complementary actions that may provide some clinical benefit


However, some people may be interested in complementary or natural treatments to support their thyroid health alongside conventional medical treatment.


I have found an interesting product available without a prescription. It contains the glandular thyroid hormone, but it is not assayed as a traditional prescription medicine. It could be used as an adjunct to or in addition to prescription thyroid medications in situations where a prescription for natural thyroid hormone is otherwise unavailable.




It's essential to consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your treatment plan. Here are some natural approaches that may complement hypothyroidism treatment:



Diet:

  • Iodine: Ensure you have sufficient but not excessive iodine intake, as iodine is a crucial component of thyroid hormones. Common dietary sources of iodine include iodized salt, seaweed, fish, and dairy products. Iodine deficiency is very rare in the Western Diet. Ingestion of Iodine in excess of dietary needs can adversely affect the immune system, resulting in worsening of autoimmune issues.

  • Selenium: Selenium is important for the conversion of T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone). Good dietary sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, fish, and organ meats. Supplements are useful, but excessive selenium is toxic.

  • Balanced diet: Maintain a well-balanced diet with a variety of nutrients to support overall health.

Lifestyle changes:

  • Stress management: Chronic stress can affect thyroid function, so stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises may be beneficial.

  • Regular exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help improve metabolism and overall health.


Herbal supplements:

  • Some herbs may have potential benefits for thyroid health. Ashwagandha and guggul are examples of herbs that have been studied for their potential thyroid-supporting properties. However, the use of herbal supplements should be discussed with a healthcare provider, as they can interact with medications and may not be suitable for everyone.


Gluten-free diet:

  • Some individuals with hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroid conditions like Hashimoto's thyroiditis may benefit from a gluten-free diet, as gluten may trigger inflammation in these cases. Consult with a healthcare provider before making dietary changes.


Nutritional supplements useful in the natural approach to treating hypothyroidism:

  • Some people with hypothyroidism may have deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D and B12, magnesium, zinc and ot6hers. Your healthcare provider can assess your nutrient levels and recommend appropriate supplements if necessary. Often, a little attention to the nutritional deficiencies that can cause hypothyroidism will pay off in control, weight loss and improvement of your general physical condition.


First and foremost, you must get adequate zinc and selenium into your supplement regimen. This product, 2 capsule twice daily, provides enough zinc and selenium to satisfy most clinical situations. Additionally, it contains other mineral micronutrients providing an excellent, rounded approach.


Remember, too much zinc and too much selenium can be dangerous. Do not frivolously add more minerals on top of this. Too much of any good thing can rapidly become a bad thing.


If you need a rounded multi-vitamin and mineral regimen, you can use MAGIC MINERALS in a reduced daily dosage of one capsule twice daily. A good choice, and great value is our DOWN to BASICS product, which is taken two capsules twice daily. (Add 1 magic mineral capsule to it, twice daily, and you have done it.



Unless you are anemic or a heavily menstruating female, use the 'without iron' selection. Iron, ingested in amounts exceeding your metabolic needs can make you constipated.


Both of these products are gluten and soy-free. Both of them are manufactured to the highest industry standards. Assayed to be within tight tolerances and free of heavy metals and toxins, the are remarkably inexpensive.


They are stronger than most things you may have tried. Take them with meals, or your tummy might get a little upset.



 

Limit goitrogenic foods:

  • Goitrogens are compounds that can interfere with thyroid function. Common goitrogenic foods include cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cabbage, kale) and soy. Cooking these foods can reduce their goitrogenic effects.

Note Well: Avoid all soy-containing products, food and otherwise. It is best to avoid peanut, peanut butter and garbanzo beans. See my post on 'Death by Soy.'


Remember that natural treatments should not replace prescribed thyroid hormone medication if you have hypothyroidism. These natural approaches are meant to complement conventional treatment and support overall thyroid health. Always consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate and safe approach for your specific condition. Regular monitoring of thyroid function is essential to adjust treatment as needed.






David S. Klein, MD, FACA, FACPM

1917 Boothe Circle

Longwood, Florida 32750

Tel: 407-679-3337

Fax: 407-678-7246

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