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Thyroid and Hormonal Conditions

The thyroid gland is the centre of energy and metabolism. When it is dysfunctional, a person may feel any number of symptoms including persistent fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, and ongoing illness. As thyroid, adrenal, and reproductive hormones are intricately tied, I can help you identify which hormones need to be rebalanced to improve your sleep, energy, fertility, and reproductive health.

Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

Various nutrients, such as selenium and zinc, are needed to support the conversion of our thyroid hormone T4 to the more metabolically active thyroid hormone T3.[1] Other medicinal herbs, such as ashwagandha, have shown promise in clinical trials to promote normalization of TSH.[2] It is also well-documented that many individuals with a thyroid disorder experience chronic gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and either loose stools or constipation.

My goal is to help patients achieve optimal thyroid function by using diet, lifestyle, regular blood work monitoring, and other integrative forms of medicine, while working collaboratively with other healthcare practitioners in the patient’s circle of care.

Desiccated thyroid hormone replacement may be an option for individuals who poorly tolerate levothyroxine (Synthroid) medication.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and, over time, leads to chronic inflammation. This autoimmune attack impairs the ability of the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones, and eventually can cause hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid). Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in Canada.

The role of diet in the management of Hashimoto’s disease is often overlooked. However, research has shown that many individuals with Hashimoto’s benefit from a gluten-free or low-gluten diet with respect to disease progression and disease complications.[3] Diet modifications are just one example where naturopathic medicine may be of benefit to someone suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Other Hormone Conditions

There are several testing and natural treatment options available for other hormone conditions, such as DUTCH hormone testing, salivary hormone testing, serum (blood) hormone testing, and the use of basic naturopathic modalities including clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture, and vitamin/nutrient therapy. Below are some of the conditions I commonly see and treat in practice.

  • Menopause

  • Irregular menstrual cycles

  • Hormonal acne

  • Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

  • Endometriosis

  • Chronic bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections

  • Uterine fibroids


References:

  1. Binitha, M., Sarita, S. and Betsy, A. (2013). Zinc deficiency associated with hypothyroidism: An overlooked cause of severe alopecia. International Journal of Trichology, 5(1), p.40.

  2. Sharma, A., Basu, I. and Singh, S. (2018). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Subclinical Hypothyroid Patients: A Double-Blind, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 24(3), pp.243-248.

  3. Liontiris, M. and Mazokopakis, E. (2017). A concise review of Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) and the importance of iodine, selenium, vitamin D and gluten on the autoimmunity and dietary management of HT patients. Points that need more investigation. Hellenic Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 20(1), pp.51-56.