The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck that produces hormones. Though relatively small, it plays a huge role in our body influencing important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidney, and skin. Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid fails to produce enough of certain important hormones. Without the right amount, cells can’t produce properly and the body is not able to functional at optimal levels.
Hypothyroidism can impact metabolism, mental function, energy level, and sex drive, among other things. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, brain fog, fatigue, depression, hair loss, difficult falling or staying asleep, decreased sex drive, sensitivity to cold, irritability, and an overall feeling of “blah.”
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder. Over time, the immune system will actually attack and destroy the thyroid so that it no longer can produce enough hormones to power cells. Lack of proper nutrients to the thyroid hormones or body, sex or stress hormone imbalances, and physical and emotional stressors may also disrupt thyroid levels.
Conventional medicine frequently fails to diagnose thyroid dysfunction and often blames the symptoms on old age. Often times, patients suffering from hypothyroidism are not properly tested and thus, not properly diagnosed. Millions of Americans suffer from hypothyroidism, and millions more have yet to be diagnosed. Functional medicine practitioners offer extensive testing to determine which thyroid hormone is underperforming and what dosage is required to restore and maintain optimal levels.
The thyroid is critical to every cell in the body and it’s extremely important to maintain optimal levels. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to serious heart and bone problems. Treatment of hypothyroidism consists of thyroid hormone replacement through supplements and diet and lifestyle changes. Functional medicine approaches the body as whole, integrated system and instead of trying to only treat the symptoms, it focuses on addressing the root cause. Rather than treating the symptoms of hypothyroidism, functional medicine actually treats hypothyroidism. A functional medicine doctor will be able to determine which thyroid hormone level to treat and the proper dosage. Generally, most symptoms of hypothyroidism should disappear within a few months after treatment, though treatment will need to continue.
Dr. Jim Gruber at J. Gruber Health Solutions is a functional medicine doctor in Denver with extensive experience in thyroid hormone testing and treatment. Dr. Gruber conducts a complete thyroid panel of blood tests and offers individualized treatment plans based on the needs of the patient. Contact us today at 303-746-1964 to set up your consultation and take the first step towards optimal health.