The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped organ located at the front of the throat. It regulates everything from metabolism to sleep to anxiety. When the thyroid malfunctions, patients may experience a wide range of strange symptoms — everything from hair loss to constant headaches to weight gain to constipation.







Many doctors don’t test the thyroid thoroughly, meaning many Americans face mysterious, seemingly untreatable symptoms and can’t find answers. Worse, these symptoms can be associated with other diseases, and without proper testing, many patients are misdiagnosed and continue to suffer.

In fact, it is estimated that 27 million Americans have thyroid conditions, while only half have been properly diagnosed. Often, doctors pinpoint another cause of the symptoms, such as vitamin deficiencies or anemia. The truth is, many patients’ thyroids are dysregulated, and women are particularly affected.

Most doctors will run a TSH test, which measures levels of the Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone in the blood. In standard practice, a TSH level over 5 mL/U is taken as a sign that the thyroid is underactive. However, recent research has thrown this number into question. 

A TSH blood test merely assesses TSH levels in the blood. However, many patients with thyroid problems have abnormal TSH levels in their organs or tissues. Some autoimmune diseases cause the body to attack the thyroid, throwing it out of whack without necessarily raising TSH levels. 

TWO COMMON THYROID-RELATED CONDITIONS

-    Hashimoto’s: a disease in which the body slowly attacks the thyroid, causing it to become inflamed. Symptoms include fatigue, joint and muscle pain, poor cold tolerance, weight gain, constipation, brain fog, excessive menstrual bleeding, and mood disorders 

-    Grave’s: a disease in which antibodies cause the thyroid to produce too many hormones, causing hyperactivity, muscle weakness, poor heat tolerance, weight loss, irritability, diarrhea, and sleep disorders

Either of these conditions can be present even with normal TSH tests. At Well Life Family Medicine, we know that you are more than your labs. We won’t turn you away if your tests come back “normal.” When everything “looks right” but you still feel wrong, we are here to help you feel better.

Low levels of essential vitamins and the minerals iodine, selenium, iron, and zinc can contribute to thyroid problems. We will test your levels and recommend ways to supplement your nutritional profile through dietary changes and/or supplements. This may include supplements to provide relief for your symptoms while we tackle the root cause.

We will work with you to find medications that can treat your thyroid problems. Options include glandulars, which contain nutrient-rich extracts from animal tissues, Tirosint, which replenishes depleted thyroid hormone levels, or antithyroid medications that reduce an overactive thyroid. Note that it may worsen your symptoms to take thyroid supplements without supervision. At Well Life Family Medicine, we’ll help you choose the best options for your needs.

Food Sensitivity Testing

Some foods, such as starchy vegetables, green leafy vegetables, soy foods, and nuts, can contribute to goiters. However, this does not happen in all patients. We’ll test your sensitivity to these foods and recommend whether or not you should reduce your consumption of these foods. If your thyroid is underactive, we can assess whether or not your body is insufficiently absorbing key nutrients such as iron, zinc, or selenium. Often, a protein-rich diet with plenty of seafood, legumes, and whole grains can help restore the thyroid’s function. Check with us to test your food sensitivity before modifying your diet.

Heavy Metal Testing

A buildup of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and aluminum in the body can lead to a host of medical problems, including thyroid-related autoimmune disease. This happens because these metals attract antibodies to the thyroid and reduce the uptake of iodide, which is essential for healthy thyroid function. We’ll test your levels of these environmental toxins to assess their role in your condition. 

Thyroid Ultrasound with Elastography

Damaged or unhealthy thyroids may contain nodules (non-cancerous) or tumors. Elastography is a method of examination in which any abnormalities are manually probed with the help of ultrasound imaging. This technique can provide a full portrait of the thyroid’s health and identify potential cancer (which is rare, but highly treatable).

Thyroid Thermography

Thermography is a painless, highly efficient way to assess the thyroid’s health. In both hyper- and hypothyroidism, the thyroid may become enlarged, causing goiter. Although manual examination may reveal goiter, thermography provides a better picture of any abnormalities. This method can also be used to identify tumors on the thyroid.

 Laser Therapy 

Should nodules be detected on the thyroid, laser therapy offers a non-invasive way to minimize them and improve overall thyroid function. It works by (a) reducing inflammation and goiter and (b) regenerating tittles that was destroyed by the bodies’ own antibodies.

Overall, we take an integrative approach to find the root cause of your thyroid issues. We treat you - not your labs. Our goal is to help you rediscover your sense of vitality and well-being. If you have mysterious symptoms and suspect that thyroid dysregulation could be the cause, reach out to Well Life Family Medicine today.

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