HOW IS HYPOTHYROIDISM TREATED?
PHARMACEUTICAL TREATMENT OPTIONS
Synthetic L-thyroxine, also called Eltroxin, Synthroid or Levothyroxine, is the hypothyroidism treatment of choice by many medical doctors. The daily dosage of L-thyroxine is determined by age, sex, body size and current thyroid function.
As L-thyroxine is a synthetic T4 hormone just taking this is often not enough to allow for a complete resolution of symptoms. This is because T4 has a much weaker effect then T3, which is known as the active hormone.
When T4 is given as a medication it needs to be converted in the body into T3. This conversion happens in the thyroid, liver, gastrointestinal tract and other peripheral tissues. In the face of inflammation, nutrient deficiencies and chronic stress this conversion is not as efficient as it should be. This can leave you feeling unwell even after you FINALLY get your diagnosis.
Although some medical doctors have started prescribing Cytomel, which is a synthetic T3 hormone, it is not yet the standard of care.
NATUROPATHIC TREATMENT OPTIONS
The Naturopathic treatment options for hypothyroidism depend very much on the cause! If you experience hypothyroidism due to nutrient deficiencies or stressors occurring in your life then a Naturopathic doctor can support you with nutrients such as selenium, iron, iodine, zinc, tyrosine and the like.
A Naturopathic Doctor will also explore your digestive health, environmental exposure and liver health in order to help you to properly convert T4 to T3. Alternatively, if the issue is not with your thyroid gland itself, but more the instructions that the thyroid is given, then this will be discussed as well.
In some states and provinces Naturopathic Doctors have assess to natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) hormone prescribing rights. NDT is a prescription medication that provides a combination of all thyroid hormones. See My Thyroid Program for more information.
Should your hypothyroidism be caused by an autoimmune attack then please read this article for more information on treatment.
Diet also plays a very important role in thyroid function. More on that next.
AREAS COMMONLY EXPLORED WITH A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Blood sugar dysregulation
- Food sensitivities and systemic inflammation
- Frank or stealth infections
- Gastrointestinal dysfunction
- Toxic burden
- Cortisol imbalances, or pituitary/hypothalamic dysfunction
The first step that anyone can take in their journey is to ensure their diet is nutrient rich and thyroid healthy!