What is Hypothyroidism?

My doctor will only prescribe Synthroid or Levothyroxine but I still don’t feel well.

Why do many medical providers seem to only look at your TSH level if the real issue is Free T3?

My doctor says that my thyroid is “Normal” but I still feel terrible. Why?

How do you know if your thyroid levels are low?

I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or don’t have a thyroid any longer. Can you still help me?

Why are my symptoms starting out of nowhere, around age 40? 

How do we correct the issues?

Then use the information below for these FAQ’s.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Nearly 5% of Americans are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland is unable to produce enough thyroid hormone to support metabolic functions in the body. Although hypothyroidism is more commonly found in women, the thyroid gland secretes two main hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T4 is mainly produced by the thyroid gland, then converted in the liver and kidneys to the metabolically active T3 hormone. T3 is responsible for regulation of metabolism, energy production, body temperature, body fat, cholesterol, cognitive function, and more often than not, symptom improvement. 

My doctor will only prescribe Synthroid or Levothyroxine but I still don’t feel well.

Sadly, the first thing we learn tends to be what sticks (see youtube for “The Backward Brain Bicycle as a great example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0). Most medical providers were taught that TSH is the main thyroid hormone to monitor, and that Synthroid (or levothyroxine) is the best (or only) treatment for healthy thyroid function. Synthroid has been FDA-approved for over 60 years and has always been the go-to medication of choice. Many people find that when they take Synthroid (levothyroxine), that their symptoms worsen. Their hands and feet are colder, they have more word-finding difficulty and memory issues, and they’re fatigued and unable to lose weight.

If your body is capable of converting T4 to T3, Synthroid (levothyroxine) can be beneficial. However, if you are one of the estimated 20% of the US population that genetically cannot convert T4 to T3, Synthroid is likely not to help you, as when taken alone, it will lower Free T3. Furthermore, if you’re 40 of older and are quickly losing (or have lost) the ability to convert T4 to T3, this medication will likely be of little to no help.

Why do many medical providers seem to only look at your TSH level if the real issue is Free T3?

Again, it’s because that’s what they were taught in Medical and Nursing School, and the first thing we learn tends to stick for the duration. TSH can certainly be diagnostic of thyroid function and of thyroid disease, but Free T3 is often overlooked or ignored altogether. 

My doctor says that my thyroid is “Normal” but I still feel terrible. Why?

We see many people come to us with symptoms of hypothyroidism, but lab work done with other medical providers show that they are “within the normal range.” Every person is different and as such, every person’s “normal” can be different. Labs establish what “normal” is, without taking into account that everyone is different and every person is so much more than one simple number. We will take your symptoms, your lab results and your goals, preferences and lifestyle into account when we develop a personalized plan to give you relief and disease prevention. Our goal is to optimize your thyroid function while also giving you more disease protection from Alzheimers, Heart Disease, Depression and Functional Decline. 

How do you know if your thyroid levels are low?

The first step is to get labs drawn, then go over your medical history with us at Sanctuary. The lab work is simple and fairly inexpensive. If we find evidence that your thyroid isn’t functioning optimally (even if someone else said you’re completely normal prior to your seeing us), we can start you on a simple and inexpensive program to address the root cause of your symptoms. There are surprisingly over 200 symptoms of thyroid dysfunction that improve greatly (and often disappear) with treating the thyroid deficiency by optimizing your Free T3 levels:

•      Colder body temperature

•      Symptoms of poor circulation in the hands and feet

•      Fatigue

•      Depression

•      Forgetfulness, fuzzy thinking and word-finding difficulty

•      Muscle and joint pain

•      Dry skin, hair and dry, brittle nails

•      Digestive ailments (constipation, IBS, etc.)

•      Menstrual irregularities and infertility

•      Emotional instability

•      High cholesterol

•      Weight Gain

Note: Many of the symptoms above can also be caused by hormone imbalance or thyroid issues, so it’s often best to look at labs for both hormones and thyroid to get the most clear picture of where all of your levels are.

I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or don’t have a thyroid any longer. Can you still help me?

 

Yes, we can certainly help you! Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks your thyroid and you then most often start to have symptoms of Hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can be triggered by trauma, infection, foods, toxin exposure, a stressful event and other issues and often involves your Gastrointestinal (or Gut) Health. While we work on repairing the damage caused by the initial insult to your thyroid, we treat you to optimize your thyroid function while we work to heal the underlying issue.

If your thyroid has either been removed or is non-functioning, we can also help you get back to feeling as good (or even better) than you did before your thyroid was non-working. Whether your issue is simple Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or a non-working Thyroid Gland, we can help decrease (and ideally eliminate) the symptoms you’re experiencing so that you not only feel better, but also lower your risk of Alzheimers and Heart Disease in the process.

Why are my symptoms starting out of nowhere, around age 40?

Our bodies make T4 and must then convert the T4 to T3, in order to access the benefits if provides and have an optimally functioning thyroid. Some people inherit the inability to convert T4 to T3, while most others start to lose the ability for conversion of T4 to T3 at about the age of 40. Regardless of the reason, Sanctuary’s Empowered Life Hormone Program can help.

How do we correct the issues?

At Sanctuary, we treat you as a whole person, and not simply as one body part to be “fixed.” We look closely at your complete medical history, toxin exposures, nutrition, habits, lifestyle and symptoms and develop a personalized approached to helping you achieve your goals to optimizing health.

For treating thyroid disorders like the ones mentioned above, we use more Desiccated Porcine Thyroid Hormone than anything, as we’ve found it be the most effective tool for the largest number of people that like you, want to feel good but also optimize disease protection. It can be compounded or found as a commercially-available preparation in the form of Nature Throid, NP Thyroid, WP Thyroid or Armour Thyroid. Most every option has specific benefits, but we will carefully consider a large variety of factors when determining which we think is best for you. A small handful of patients do well on Synthroid (levothyroxine) and need to add Cytomel (which is T3) to their regimen, but they are few and far between.