Hashimotos Thyroiditis is a condition characterized by the immune system producing antibodies that can harm the thyroid. It is estimated that 14 million Americans are impacted by Hashimotos.
Hashimotos is associated with a number of symptoms: brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and brittle nails are some of the most commonly reported.
Other symptoms may include depression, puffy eyes, feeling cold, and dry skin.
The Problem with Conventional Approaches
The conventional approach to Hashimotos differs greatly from a functional medicine approach. It starts with lab testing: in conventional medicine, it is common practice to run one or two thyroid markers: TSH and, potentially, free T4. These tests are utilized to diagnose thyroid conditions, but may not accurately reflect the functioning of the thyroid gland.
In functional medicine, we utilize more comprehensive testing: a full thyroid panel that includes TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies.
Even our interpretation of the results differ from conventional western medicine. While conventional medicine defines “normal” as within a wide range, functional medicine narrows up the reference range to consider what the optimal levels for each marker are.
If you’ve ever been told “your labs are normal” despite feeling anything but, this may be why.
Is it Really the Thyroid?
Another issue with Hashimotos is that it’s often confused with being a thyroid condition. Hashimotos is not a thyroid condition – it’s an immune system condition. Treating it as such requires a different approach.
A Functional Medicine Approach
In functional medicine, we look at the whole picture. Our process starts with comprehensive lab testing and analysis through the lens of functional medicine.
Approaches are tailor-made for you based on your unique lab results. But in Hashimotos cases, some common themes may include tools like energy and drainage support, immune system support, and more.
In functional medicine, we look beyond simply nutraceutical or pharmaceutical prescriptions. We factor lifestyle, diet, and numerous other support tools in to our process. Treating Hashimotos in functional medicine is a marathon, not a sprint!
Want to work with our functional medicine team? We’re based in Burnsville, MN but offer virtual services throughout the USA. Click the link below to explore more.