Hormones

Thyroid Gland, Our Master Endocrine Gland

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine (hormone secreting) gland wrapped around the trachea at the lower front of the neck.  Although it is a small gland, it produces the main hormone of metabolism, the thyroid hormones,. Once the thyroid hormone is secreted, it is carried to every tissues of the body to help with metabolic functions. It helps the body use energy, regulate internal temperature, and helps with the proper function of the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs.

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), 1-10 Americans suffer from thyroid disease.  Thyroid disease is a condition that is relatively easy to diagnose and treat, but almost half remains undiagnosed in a traditional medical environment.

Thyroid hormone circulates in two major forms: the prohormone, Thyroixe (T4) is an inactive hormone produced exclusively by the thyroid gland, and triiodothyronine (T3), the active form, that is produced by both thyroid gland and from conversion of T4 in various tissue of the body.

The two main thyroid disorders are underactive, hypothyroidism, and overactive, hyperthyroidism. At Ocean Pacific Integrative Health Center, our focus is more on hypothyroidism, but we do have complementary holistic nutritional/herbal treatments that can be used with your current conventional therapy. Please call our office for more information.

 Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a state in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the two thyroid hormone (T4 and T3) for optimal metabolic function.  Although women over 60 are at greatest risk developing thyroid problem, it can occur in people of all ages. Common causes of hypothyroidism are genetic predispositions, autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (also called Hashimoto’s disease or Hashimoto’s hyperthyroidism), surgical removal of the thyroid, side-effects of drugs such as Lithium, and radiation therapy. Symptoms of the hypothyroidism may include but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Cold intolerance
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin, brittle nails and thinning hair
  • Elevated blood cholesterol
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Mental fogginess

No matter what symptoms you are experiencing, we will determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and will help take necessary steps to restore your thyroid health to optimal levels with our effective personalized health plan.

Our Treatment program is created to address each individual patient’s needs. We recognize that each patient has a unique set of risk factors based on his/her family history, diet and lifestyle, past medical history, and other current medical conditions for which he/she is undergoing treatment.

Therapeutic Approaches

No matter what symptoms you are experiencing, we will determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and will help take necessary steps to restore your thyroid health to optimal levels with our effective personalized health plan.

Our Treatment program is created to address each individual patient’s needs. We recognize that each patient has a unique set of risk factors based on his/her family history, diet and lifestyle, past medical history, and other current medical conditions for which he/she is undergoing treatment.

Our Personalized Health Plan includes:

  • Comprehensive Health Intake by a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor specializing in natural hormone therapy
  • Physical Exam
  • Comprehensive thyroid panel or imaging
  • Customized Treatment and Prevention Plan
  • Hyperthyroidism diet tailored for you
  • Continual monitoring and evaluation of symptoms

Determining Your Hormonal Needs

Because hypothyroid symptoms are so variable and non-specific, we utilize a comprehensive thyroid test in order to create a personalize health plan tailored to your needs.  Our comprehensive thyroid panel may include the following:

  • TSH Levels
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody ( anti-TPO)
  • Thyroglobulin Antibody ( anti-TG)
  • Additional labs:  4-point salivary cortisol or serum cortisol, DHEA-S, lipid panel, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel,Complete Blood Count, and other hormones as indicated.

In case you have a high deductible plan or you don’t have insurance, we have you covered!! We have negotiated rates with some of the major labs to make the cost of these labs more affordable.  Please see the Laboratory Services page for more information.

Holistic Hypothyroid Treatment and Prevention Plan

Depending on your symptoms and laboratory results, initial stages of hypothryoidism can be prevented and treated naturally without hormones. Our approach to treating thyroid disorders involves a three-step process moving from more gentle treatment to more supportive measures depending on the needs of each individual.

STEP 1: Diet and Lifestyle

Through our experience, we have found that supporting the body naturally with diet and lifestyle modifications together with nutritional supplementation can significantly relieve the strain on your thyroid glands and bring your body back to a state of balance. The small choices you make in regards to your nutrition and food choices will make a difference.

STEP 2: Non-Hormone Therapies

We utilize specific thyroid supportive herbs, thyroid co-factors, and hormone precursors that have been researched and well- studied for optimal thyroid hormone production and function. Many patients can comfortably control their symptoms and feel great on STEPS 1 and 2 alone.

STEP 3:  Thyroid Hormone Therapy

When more support is needed, thyroid hormone replacement therapy may be the best option with continued support of Step 1 and 2 for optimal thyroid function.  The type of thyroid medications will be evaluated and formulated based on individual patient.  The four classed of thyroid medications offered are as follows:

  1. Natural/Glandular T4/T3: Armour®, Nature-throid®, Westhroid®
  2. Thyroxine T4:  Synthroid®, Levoxyl, Levothyroxine
  3. Triidothyronine T3:  Cytomel ®, Liothyroine
  4. Combo compounded T4/T3 formulated based on individual or for those who are allergic to or sensitive to fillers, dyes, binders, and other excipients found in other Desiccated Natural Thyroid or synthetic thyroid hormone preparations.

Levothyroxine Sodium (T4) in brand or generic is the most widely used treatment in conventional setting for treatment of hypothyroidism. The rational behind using Levothyroxine (T4) as monotherapy is that the thyroid only makes 20% of the body’s T3 and the other 80% is made by the tissue by conversation of T4 to T3. Only by successful conversion of T4 to T3 does the body reap the full benefit of Levothyroxine.

Combination Natural/Synthetic

Some people will not convert enough T4 to T3 as a result of genetic polymorphism for the enzyme that is needed for conversion or other factors. This will not be detected with the usual TSH and Free T4 labs and the Levothyroxine as monotherapy will not fully remedy the symptoms of hypothyroidism.  Without the functioning enzyme, more T4 as supplied in Levothyrosine will become Reverse T3 ( rT3), a deactivated form.

When combination therapy is warranted, porcine sourced, manufactured, desiccated Armour®, Nature-throid®, Westhroid® with a set ratio of T4/T3 or compounded from synthetic T4/T3 personalized to specific patient will be utilized.

Confused about Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy?
You’re not alone…read on to get answers to your most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or call our office at 760-944-9400 for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes Hypothyroidism?

There are many factors that adversely impact your thyroid gland’s function and the most common causes of hypothyroidism are as follows, but are not limited to:

  • Congenital: Either all or part of thyroid not formed at birth
  • Autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis:  Where the immune system that protects the body from invading infections can mistake thyroid gland cells and their enzymes for invaders and can attack them. Hashimoto’s disease can begin suddenly or it can develop slowly over years.
  • Surgical removal of the thyroid due to cancer, nodules or Graves’ disease.
  • Radiation Therapy due to thyroid cancer, nodular goiter, Grave’s disease or radiation to the head and neck
  • Drug Side Effect: Such as Lithium amiodarone, lithium, interferon alpha, and interleukin-2, seizure medications (i.e. phenytoin or tegretol)
  • Iodine:  Keeping thyroid hormone production in balance requires the right amount of iodine. Taking in too much iodine can cause or worsen hypothyroidism.
How often is my follow-ups and follow-up?

Your thyroid will be checked 6 to 10 weeks after start of treatment and after each dose adjustments. Once the right form and dosage are achieved, the tests will be done every 6 months.  

What is the best way to take my thyroid hormone?

Take your thyroid hormone first thing in the morning on an empty stomach away from fiber, calcium, iron and certain antacids.

How long will I have to take my thyroid hormones?

Hypothyroid symptoms could be well controlled with the right thyroid replacement therapy throughout your life. However, there are exceptions as some with viral and pregnancy related thyroiditis have their thyroid function return to normal and have discontinued their thyroid hormone therapy.

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Balance your hormones. Balance your life … Naturally!

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Temecula
28991 Old Town Front Street
Suite 106
Temecula, CA 92590

Call

760-944-9300

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The statements made on our websites have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). The information provided by this website is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as individual medical advice. Our products are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.