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Hypothyroidism: More Common Than You Think

Fatigue and Lethargy.
Hair Loss.
High Cholesterol.
Menstrual Period Problems.
Recurrent infections, particularly in winter.
Chronic Headaches.
Feeling Cold frequently; cold hands and feet; intolerance to cold.

These and many other common health problems can be caused by hypothyroidism,
a low-functioning thyroid. The thyroid gland is like the master thermostat of your whole body, and when it slows down, many different types of problems can occur. Unfortunately, all too often, laboratory tests are not sensitive enough to identify the thyroid as the cause of the problems. Or, your medical doctor may not realize that a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) in the high end of the normal range may, in fact, be abnormal. You may be told your problems are in your imagination, or that you should see a psychiatrist, or you may have bounced from doctor to doctor or prescription to prescription looking for answers – but if hypothyroidism is the real cause of your problem, it may never have been suspected, or may have been mistakenly ruled out because lab results were “normal.”

This is not to say that every person with the problems listed above has hypothyroidism – there are many different conditions that can cause these symptoms. It is important for any medical professional to rule out serious and likely causes of symptoms: anemia for fatigue, cancer for excessive uterine bleeding in an older woman, physical pathology as a cause of infertility. However, as a naturopathic physician I consider imbalances that
a conventional doctor might overlook: hypothyroidism, food allergies or sensitivities, hormone imbalances, and the like.

Hypothyroidism: A Naturopathic Approach

Using conventional blood work, your medical and family history, and other less
conventional assessments I can form an opinion of the state of your thyroid. However, the single biggest difference is not my methods of treatment or diagnosis, but simply that I know to consider whether your thyroid may be implicated in your symptoms.

In the state of Connecticut, naturopathic physicians are not allowed to prescribe Thyroid Hormone. (Other states that license naturopathic physicians, such as Oregon, Utah, and California grant NDs prescribing rights.) This prevents me from treating a hypothyroid problem with Synthroid, Armour Thyroid, or other typical medications. My treatment is based on a combination of herbal and nutritional supplementation for the thyroid, and if possible an attempt to deal with the underlying cause of the problem. In cases where a prescription of thyroid hormone appears to be the ideal treatment, you will be referred back to your M.D. to address the issue.

Please explore the rest of this website, to learn more about the general philosophy and practice of naturopathic medicine. Of course, I am happy to meet with you to discuss your particular situation, and to explore with you how I can help you feel your best.