Discovering new facts from functional medicine in Toronto can be quite eye opening. For instance, did you know that your thyroid regulates metabolism, weight loss, and body temperature?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ located below your voice box. As a gland, the thyroid heavily impacts the hormonal health of both men and women. “It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. If the body needs more energy in certain situations – for instance, if it is growing or cold, or during pregnancy – the thyroid gland produces more hormones,” explains the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).
The thyroid is a proud member of the endocrine system. The hormones that the thyroid releases help control many bodily functions, including cholesterol levels, breathing, the rate of our heartbeat, and even menstruation, just to name a few!
If there are excessive amounts or a lack of thyroid hormones, a wide range of discomforts could occur, some of which include extreme fatigue, digestive issues, mood swings, dry skin, hair loss, an increase/decrease of sweating, and more.
Continue reading below to learn about different thyroid conditions, how to test for thyroid dysfunction and the natural treatment options, such as using functional medicine for depression by treating thyroid issues, offered at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre.
Thyroid Dysfunctions and Related Health Conditions
The thyroid makes and releases two types of hormones: T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). Functional medicine healthcare providers would explain that when the thyroid doesn’t release enough T3 and T4 hormones, you could experience hypothyroidism. On the other hand, excessive levels of T3 and T4 hormones could lead to hyperthyroidism.
Autoimmune thyroiditis (AITD), a group of conditions that focus on thyroid health, include extreme hypo- or hyperthyroidism. Some of these conditions are Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease (which progressively attacks the thyroid cells that make hormones; causes hypothyroidism, which could lead to fatigue, weight gain, muscle aches, depression, slow movements and weakness) and Graves’ disease (when hyperthyroidism triggers concerning side effects such as vision loss, bulging eyes, fatigue and unexplained weight loss).
It’s important to note that some autoimmune disease conditions have been linked to faulty thyroid function. For example, according to an article in the Journal of Restorative Medicine, “Addressing thyroid function may be key to effectively treating patients with fibromyalgia.” This is because past studies have shown that many fibromyalgia sufferers experience hypothyroidism.
Are you experiencing unexplained weight gain, fatigue and hair loss? If so, have you considered visiting an integrative and functional medicine provider? This practitioner could recommend functional medicine testing for your thyroid and help you reach optimal wellness.
Testing and Treating Thyroid Dysfunction
If you’re looking for a functional medicine practitioner in Toronto, this health care provider should mention lab testing. Functional medicine wisdom embraces individuality, so a lab test would determine if thyroid dysfunction is present and whether it’s under-active or over-active.
At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, we offer comprehensive clinical care for patients, which can include a complete thyroid panel test. Unlike conventional tests, our thyroid panel measures various thyroid components, including T3, T4, thyroid antibodies, TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), thyroid peroxidase and other thyroid factors.
After test results are interpreted, we would offer a personalized approach to treating thyroid dysfunction. Here some examples of treatments that could be considered for targeting thyroid health:
- Probiotics: Did you know that gut health is related to the thyroid? According to Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, “The gut microbiota has important effects on human health and disease, and an altered composition of the gut microbiota was identified as a factor contributing to [Hashimoto’s thyroiditis] and [Graves’ disease].” Thus, probiotics in a treatment plan could renew your digestive health and possibly initiate thyroid improvements.
- Dietary supplements: Nutritional deficiencies could impact thyroid health. Nutraceuticals may be recommended, which may include oral or intravenous selenium supplementation. As an enzyme, selenium has been studied as an effective supplement: “In Graves disease, selenium supplementation might lead to faster remission of hyperthyroidism and improved quality of life and eye involvement in patients with mild thyroid eye disease,” explains an article from Nature Reviews Endocrinology.
- Bio-identical thyroid hormone replacement therapy: This treatment could assist with regulating energy levels and metabolism. Containing a natural desiccated thyroid hormone, this treatment contains T3 and T4 hormones, as well as other compounds that could aid in relieving thyroid hormone imbalances. Desiccated (dried) thyroid is an amalgamation of hormones that are comparable to the hormones that your thyroid makes.
Additionally, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre offers integrative and functional medicine programs, which could also assist with thyroid issues. Could these programs help unlock new ways for you to reach optimal health? Find out with a discovery session from our clinical practice.
Get Thyroid Help at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre
If you think your thyroid needs to be checked out, our integrative approach to wellness could provide you with new strategies for pain relief, alleviating digestive issues and brain fog, and improving energy levels. And because we follow the functional medicine model, no two patients are alike! Every patient is a unique entity and is treated according to their individual symptoms, lifestyle factors, genetics and environmental factors.
A wide range of functional medicine testing is available at our clinic, including general blood work, comprehensive stool analysis, DUTCH testing for hormone imbalances, among others. A customized treatment plan may consist of different modalities with an evidence-based approach, such as naturopathic treatments, IV therapy, Western medicine, Eastern medicine, bio-identical hormones, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and other modalities.
Is your thyroid preventing you from upgrading your health? Book your consultation today to find out – call (416) 968-6961 to reserve a DISCOVERY SESSION on functional medicine from our Toronto clinic.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.
Eleonore Fröhlich, Richard Wahl, Microbiota and Thyroid Interaction in Health and Disease, Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 30, Issue 8, 2019, Pages 479-490, ISSN 1043-2760,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2019.05.008.
Friedman, Michael. “Fibromyalgia, Thyroid Dysfunction and Treatment Modalities.” (2013). Journal of Restorative Medicine, Volume 2, Number 1, 10 January 2013, pp. 60-69(10).
Holtorf, Kent. “Peripheral Thyroid Hormone Conversion and Its Impact on TSH and Metabolic Activity.” (2014), Journal of Restorative Medicine, Volume 3, Number 1, 4 January 2014, pp. 30-52(23).
InformedHealth.org (Internet). Cologne, German: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG)l 2006-. How does the thyroid gland work? 2010 Nov 17 (Updated 2018, April 19). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279388
Rayman, M. (2019). Multiple nutritional factors and thyroid disease, with particular reference to autoimmune thyroid disease. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 78(1), 34-44. doi:10.1017/S0029665118001192
Winther, K.H., Rayman, M.P., Bonnema, S.J. et al. Selenium in thyroid disorders — essential knowledge for clinicians. Nat Rev Endocrinol 16, 165–176 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41574-019-0311-6.