Allison has been an ND for 20 years; She graduated from NCNM.
She has a private practice plus works as provider at ZRT laboratory: helps providers and patients sort through various hormonal issues
In part one with Allison she reviewed thyroid functions and various conditions
Low functioning thryoid conditions are often missed by ‘normal providers’ such as PCPs and endocrinologists
Taking a thorough medical history is KEY to uncovering subtle conditions
LISTENING is key for providers
Important lab tests:
- TSH, FT3, FT4, thyroid antibodies, Ferritin, B12, D
- Full saliva panel: Estradiol , progesterone, testosterone, DHEA-s, Cortisol throughout the day
There is a huge overlap/interaction between thyroid and other hormonal imbalances: perimenopause /menopause: a time of many hormonal upheavals
NDs (Naturopathic Doctors): have medical knowledge but the main difference? They go to the root of the problem: often use many of the same medications that allopathic providers do but will treat the patient more holistically.
Goals of treatment:
Optimal lab values: aim for TSH between 1.0 and 1.5
Adequate conversion of FT4 to FT3
Patient feeling optimally
Helpful supplements often include Selenium(naturally occurring in Brazil nuts) and Iodine(if needed)
ALL thyroid meds are BIO-IDENTICAL: the main difference is whether it has just T4, T3 or a combination, and what the source is; some are immediate release, others are sustained release. Glandular source comes from animals so may not be appropriate for vegetarians
Adjusting doses may take awhile; it’s important to be patient. Often requires trying different types of thyroid medications. Once stable, will usually stay stable for a long time unless there is a major stressor or hormonal upheaval (pregnancy, menopause)
Hashimoto’s: genetics does play a role. This is an auto-immune condition.
If there is a strong family history, test at puberty. This can help to prevent weight gain/ PCOS
Individuals with thyroid conditions have increased risk of Celiac diseases
Any autoimmune condition increases risk of Hashimoto’s
Best to avoid gluten; helps to decrease the inflammation
Best diets: plant based/Mediterranean
Low dose Naltrexone(LDN) can help the immume system get back to balance, and since autoimmune conditions often go hand in hand, can help with multiple conditions
Thyroid cancer is on the rise. Environmental causes: cleaning products/furniture (fire retardants in foam: known thyroid blockers)/pesticides/hormones in meat:
eat organically whenever possible: especially organic meats
What about SOY? You would have to eat massive quantities to cause hypothyroidism
Same with cruciferous vegetables; you would have to eat enormous quantities of raw veggies to affect your thyroid
Goal: feel optimally. If you do not, keep looking until you find a provider to partner with.
Best ways to find a provider: word of mouth, compounding pharmacies, IFM (Institute of Functional Medicine). Interview the provider: are they open to hormones/supplements?
Don’t settle for just feeling okay.