The thyroid gland is the organ that controls your internal thermostat and metabolism.  Why would I see an ND for this?  Currently, conventional medicine routinely only tests for TSH.  This is called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone which tests for the amount in your blood. TSH is produced in your pituitary gland in your brain.  TSH is released and tells your thyroid to make and release thyroid hormones into your blood. TSH does not test for how your thyroid is operating.  So, if TSH is the only marker for the thyroid that is being run then you are only getting a small of piece of information on how your thyroid is functioning.

There are more markers to assess thyroid function. Very rarely are they run and if you request for these labs more often than not they will not run them.  The response is often if TSH comes back ‘normal’ then there is no indication to test further.

Another issue is if these labs are run we often see patients still experiencing symptoms despite seeing ‘normal’ levels through conventional labs and/or taking Synthroid or Eltroxin (T4). Naturopathic Doctors can interpret lab results through conventional ‘eyes’ as well as a functional perspective to determine if you have something called ‘peripheral hypothyroid’ or ‘subclinical hypothyroid’. This means you are still experiencing symptoms despite being medicated.

Another condition that is entirely dismissed by the conventional community is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis of also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It can often lead to underactive thyroid, it is often the most common cause of hypothyroid. Conventional medicine typically treats this the same as frank hypothyroidism. The autoimmune component of Hashimoto’s is often not addressed or managed. Symptoms can include all the same as hypothyroidism so if you are taking medication and many of your symptoms are not resolved it is worth investigating further to determine if you do have Hashimoto’s.


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