Are You Suffering from Hypothyroidism (Under-Active Thyroid)?
Are you tired and gaining weight no matter what you eat or how much you are exercising? Are you losing hair or have brain fog? If so, you might have an undiagnosed thyroid problem called hypothyroidism. Or you may have already been diagnosed, and on thyroid medication, your lab tests come back in range but you are still suffering from low thyroid symptoms. In traditional medicine, hypothyroidism is treated with synthetic T4, (usually Synthroid or levothyroxine). However, many people cannot efficiently convert T4 to the more metabolically active T3. So, even if your T4 and TSH levels are optimal, if your free T3 levels are low, you may still experience symptoms.
What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland situated in the front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. Its function is to produce T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones) which are responsible for regulating and maintaining metabolism, mood, energy, weight, hair and skin health, and body temperature among other functions. Some of the T3 is also converted from T4 outside the thyroid gland.
How does Functional Medicine differ from Traditional Medicine?
Traditional Western Medicine is best at treating acute physical trauma (from accidents or life-threatening illnesses) through operations, pharmaceuticals, and hospital care. Physicians trained this way, though, are often poor at helping people with chronic illnesses that last for years.
Patients with chronic conditions—related to a low-thyroid problem, to diabetes, to sex-hormone imbalances, to adrenal exhaustion, or to hidden food allergies—often seek out expensive specialists and get little real help. These physicians are failing their patients by simply writing thyroid-medication prescriptions and dismissing the fact that low-thyroid patients often suffer as much after taking medication as they did before this treatment.
By contrast, Functional Medicine doctors treat the whole patient rather than symptoms alone. The real underlying CAUSE of chronic trouble is found only by looking at entire body-systems (endocrine/hormonal, nervous, immune, and gastrointestinal). Even if two patients have the same disease or weakness, each person is as unique as fingerprints. In his practice, Dr. Robert Gilliland considers the whole person, including lab results, lifestyle, emotional stress, and detailed patient history.
How does Functional Medicine approach low-thyroid symptoms?
There are many reasons why a thyroid-hormone blood test might yield a “normal” TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) result and yet the patient continues to suffer from hypothyroid symptoms:
The body is having trouble converting the inactive form of thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form that can be used (T3). The kidneys and liver need to be healthy because most of the conversion of T4 to T3 happens there. The GI tract needs to have enough good bacteria, too.
Too much cortisol (from stress) can shut down the pituitary’s ability to produce enough TSH to signal the thyroid gland to produce more hormone.
There is enough active thyroid hormone available in the body, but hormone receptor sites in the cells are not receiving it properly.
The above is just a small list of the many possibilities that a Functional Medicine doctor, like Dr. Robert Gilliland, considers.
Does Functional Medicine ever support pharmaceutical use?
It does but in a limited way. The goal is to work with the body, to bring healing naturally; therefore, pharmaceuticals with side effects are usually avoided, unless they are absolutely necessary to sustain wellness. A Type 1 diabetic, for instance, would continue to take insulin; however, a Functional Medicine doctor would seek to minimize damage from bad blood-sugar regulation and from other imbalances caused by this endocrine problem. Though remaining a Type 1 diabetic, this patient would have a better chance of avoiding troubling complications from their illness.
What does Functional Medicine treatment involve?
Treatment might involve pharmaceutical-grade nutritional and herbal supplements for a time, to bring genuine healing to the root of the problem. Pharmaceutical-strength, natural supplements are produced in health labs with very stringent purity standards and are sold to Functional Medicine doctors and to a limited number of pharmacies for patient care. Their strength and quality are superior to anything found at a health-food store, for instance. A patient might also be encouraged to make lifestyle and dietary changes.
This approach to healthcare is far more restorative and cost-effective than expensive and potentially damaging prescription drugs that target symptoms alone. Functional Medicine is a healing alternative to the traditional model of shallow diagnoses and unsatisfying prescription drugs with side effects.
PEMF Therapy is what makes us different
Integrating PEMF Therapy and Functional Medicine for Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's
The marriage of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy and functional medicine offers a holistic approach to the management of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Both therapeutic approaches, when used in tandem, can enhance the efficacy of treatments, addressing both the root causes and symptoms of these conditions.
Functional medicine's primary objective in treating hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's is to uncover the root causes of the thyroid dysfunction. By employing a patient-centered approach, functional medicine practitioners delve deep into the patient's history, lifestyle, and genetic factors that might contribute to their thyroid issues. Through extensive testing and personalized treatment plans, they aim to restore balance and functionality to the thyroid gland, emphasizing a combination of dietary changes, stress management, and targeted supplementation.
PEMF therapy, on the other hand, enhances the cellular function and promotes healing at a microscopic level. For patients with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, the electromagnetic pulses can improve cellular metabolism and oxygenation in thyroid tissues, potentially enhancing the gland's responsiveness to thyroid hormones. Additionally, PEMF therapy can be instrumental in managing the inflammatory response, particularly in autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's thyroiditis. By reducing inflammation, PEMF can support the overall health and function of the thyroid gland.
Combining these two approaches, patients receive a comprehensive treatment strategy that addresses both the underlying triggers and the cellular health of the thyroid gland. This dual approach ensures that while functional medicine is targeting the root causes of the disorder, PEMF therapy is working synergistically to enhance cellular healing and reduce inflammation. As a result, patients may experience a faster, more holistic recovery, mitigating symptoms and potentially slowing the progression of their thyroid condition.