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What Is the Functional Medicine Approach to Hypothyroidism?

What Is the Functional Medicine Approach to Hypothyroidism?

Explore the transformative power of functional medicine for hypothyroidism. Discover tailored solutions, holistic strategies, and expert insights to optimize thyroid health naturally. Uncover the keys to vitality and well-being with our in-depth exploration. Visit the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine (COEM) today to get professional and specialized care. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 7510 North Forest Drive North Charleston, SC 29420. Patients routinely fly in to be evaluated by COEM, as we serve patients internationally. Find out if you have been exposed, extensive lab testing is available.

Functional Medicine Approach to Hypothyroidism Near Me in Charleston, SC
Functional Medicine Approach to Hypothyroidism Near Me in Charleston, SC

Table of Contents:

What is hypothyroidism?
What are hypothyroidism signs & symptoms?
What are the common reasons for hypothyroidism?
What is a functional medicine approach to treat hypothyroidism?

What is hypothyroidism?


In the body we have a gland which is known as the thyroid, the unique butterfly-shaped gland is located inside the neck just below the Adam’s apple, and it excretes necessary hormones for the body. These hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) which are hormones that are vital to the function of all cells in the body, as they affect the proteins the body produces, help to regulate the heart rate, help with the regulation of the body’s temperature, as well as, aids in the breaking down of carbohydrates and fats in the body. Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is when the thyroid gland is not producing enough of these necessary hormones, which can lead to other health issues in the body if it is not managed properly or goes untreated.

What are hypothyroidism signs & symptoms?


Since several things can cause hypothyroidism, symptoms can vary from patient to patient but there are common signs and symptoms patients can look for or may notice when the thyroid has started not to produce enough hormones.

These symptoms include but are not limited to, chronic lethargy, sensitivities to heat or cold, dry skin they never experienced before, a puffy face, weight gain, your hair started becoming or is now coarse in texture, constipation, muscle aches, tenderness and soreness, thinning hair, slower heart rate, and memory problems. Women may also experience heavier periods, or their periods may become irregular when it has not been before.

For infants, the symptoms can be much different than in adults, since their bodies are not developed as an adult has, you may find they will display symptoms like a lack of interest at feeding times, constipation, a delay in growth, a lack of healthy weight gain, poor muscle tone, yellowing of the white part of the eyes (jaundice), hoarse crying, an enlarged tongue as well as swelling or bulging near the belly button (umbilical hernia).

What are the common reasons for hypothyroidism?


Given the nature of hypothyroidism, there could be a primary reason that is causing it, or a secondary reason causing it. Primary causes for Hypothyroidism would be classified as something directly affecting the thyroid causing the condition, whereas a secondary reason would be something affecting your pituitary gland which excretes the thyroid stimulating hormone throwing off the thyroids’ healthy production of the hormones. There are autoimmune disorders, like Hashimotos, which is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism, since Hashimotos involves the body not recognizing the damaged thyroid and the body begins to use the immune system to attack the thyroid.

Besides autoimmune disorders that can be the reason for your hypothyroidism, there are other causes as well. Inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis), iodine deficiency, hereditary predisposition to hypothyroidism, and radiation or surgery of the thyroid due to cancer can also cause hypothyroidism. There are also very rare cases where women who have recently given birth experience hypothyroidism and this is known as postpartum thyroiditis, with some previously pregnant women experiencing this due to a viral illness.

What is a functional medicine approach to treat hypothyroidism?


Traditional approaches to the treatment of hypothyroidism normally involve hormone replacement therapy (HRT), to replace the hormones that the thyroid is not producing, however, this method does not treat the thyroid directly and is only to manage the symptoms. With functional method treatments, like those at COEM, we are looking beyond your symptoms to determine what is the actual cause of your hypothyroidism. Because we are looking at your symptoms, and using them to help with determining the cause, you can expect to undergo some testing which can include a thyroid hormone panel where your physician looks at the levels of your thyroid hormones, from there they may also request you have a liver panel, gut microbiome assessment, cortisol level testing, and even a micronutrient panel, so they can look at your overall health and potentially see any abnormal indicators.

Visit the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine (COEM) to get trusted and specialized care. Our expert professionals provide holistic strategies, and expert insights to optimize your health naturally.