Can you name one organ that affects almost every part of the body? It's the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland secretes hormones responsible for controlling metabolic rate, brain development, digestive function, etc.
This butterfly-shaped gland may be small in size but never ceases to amaze us with its varied actions. So what happens when it stops working correctly? If thyroid hormone levels are too high or too low, it can completely disrupt body functions..
Various treatments are available to regulate thyroid function. Here’s why functional medicine seems to be the best treatment for thyroid.
Treatment options for thyroid disorder
The two main thyroid disorders are hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a disorder when your thyroid gland doesn't produce the required amount of thyroid hormone. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland is overactive and releases more than the required thyroid hormone.
You might be surprised to know that 42 million people in India struggle with thyroid disorders. That's a big number.
Before any treatment, it is crucial to diagnose which thyroid disorder you are suffering from. Once it is diagnosed, start treatment with the help of the doctor's advice.
Here is a rundown of different traditional treatments and why functional medicine is considered the best treatment for thyroid conditions.
Treatment options for hypothyroidism
Living with hypothyroidism is challenging. Your metabolism slows down so you may gain weight and feel tired. It can also affect your mood and sleep.
According to the research, the prevalence of hypothyroidism in India is around 11%, affecting one in ten adults. Hypothyroidism treatments focus on replacing their lost thyroid hormones. It takes time to adjust the correct dose of synthetic thyroid hormones.
Thyroid hormone replacement therapy
Some doctors claim the best treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Traditionally, it is considered adequate to treat hypothyroidism. Synthetic thyroxine performs the same functions as natural thyroid hormones. Finding the optimal dose is key.
The dose depends upon factors like age, weight, symptom complexity, and overall health profile. Your doctor may check TSH and T4 levels. Generally, TSH levels are high and T4 is low.
To know how well this dose is working, your doctor may repeat these investigations. It would be best to have a blood test between six and eight weeks after starting your thyroid medication. This will give an idea of your response to the medication.
The best way to take medication is on an empty stomach every morning and not have anything at least for 30 minutes.
Learn more about How to take thyroid medication here.
Combination of Synthetic T3 and T4 medication
Another treatment option for hypothyroidism is the combination of synthetic T3 and T4 hormones. Most people start noticing improvements with synthetic T4 thyroid medication. However, some people have trouble converting T4 to the active T3. In such cases, your doctor may choose to add synthetic T3 separately.
Treatment options for hyperthyroidism
There are multiple treatment options for hyperthyroidism as well. Here are some of the most common ones:
The anti-thyroid medication stops the thyroid gland from producing extra amounts of hormones and lessens hyperthyroidism symptoms.
These medications take several weeks to months to show improvements in symptoms. So you have to be a little patient once your anti-thyroid medicines start.
Radioiodine damages the overactive thyroid cells. When you consume radioactive thyroid medication, thyroid hormone levels start dropping gradually within a few weeks. It is not only causing the permanent destruction of thyroid cells, but also has numerous side effects like nausea, loss of taste, infertility, etc.
If medications don’t help you, doctors may recommend surgery. In a thyroidectomy, the surgeon removes a part of your thyroid gland.
Beta blocker drugs don’t directly affect the level of thyroid hormones in the body. Instead, they block the action of excess thyroid hormones to control hyperthyroidism symptoms. For instance, controlling a fast heartbeat, tremor, etc.
Why is functional medicine the best treatment for thyroid disorder?
We have discussed many treatment options for thyroid conditions above, but they only treat symptoms, not the root cause of the disease. Imagine if we can reverse thyroid symptoms completely. With functional medicine treatment, that could be your reality.
Functional medicine treatment is a unique approach to treating thyroid conditions. This approach is entirely different from the conventional approach. It is more focused on finding the root cause of the diseases instead of just treating symptoms.
Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's or Graves' disease are the most common causes of thyroid disease. Autoimmune diseases happen when your immune system attacks your own body cells.
Functional medicine uses different strategies for treating thyroid dysfunction.
Root cause analysis:
The first step in functional medicine treatment is to find the root cause. This could include toxin exposures, leaky gut, food sensitivities, chronic infections, stress, etc. It is crucial for diagnosis and treatment.
A functional medicine doctor suggests thyroid patients keep their lifestyle healthy. It includes a nutritious diet, getting regular quality sleep, managing stress, and exercising regularly.
- Diet: We all know how diet is essential to keep us healthy. So it is better to clean up your diet and exclude foods like refined vegetable oils, refined sugar, unhealthy fats, gluten, processed foods, conventional dairy, etc.
- Exercise: Just like diet, physical activity is also crucial. It supports your immune system and manages symptoms like tiredness, weight gain, and joint pain.
Stress can be the reason behind your thyroid dysfunction. You can be stressed due to family, friends, relatives, or work. A functional medicine doctor tries to understand your social situation and manage stress.
Reduce exposure to toxicity.
We live in a world where we are constantly exposed to toxins. Such exposure causes inflammation, which leads to various disorders. Thyroid dysfunction is one of them. Using organic and natural products and spending more time in nature is better.
One of the major concerns of hypothyroid patients is weight gain. The holistic approach of functional medicine helps control weight and improve thyroid symptoms. All these points make functional medicine the best treatment option for thyroid diseases.
In a nutshell
With so many thyroid treatment options available, it is confusing to understand which is the best solution for thyroid disease. Thyroid symptoms can be very distressing and thyroid treatment usually lasts for several years.
When it comes to your health, trust the experts. Jeevam Health offers premium functional medicine treatment solutions that give the best results in thyroid treatment.