What is a Thyroid?
It is a gland in our endocrine system, sitting at the front of the neck, that regulates temperature, growth, repair, and metabolism. It controls the rate of function of every cell and gland in the body as well.
What is Hypothyroidism?
This is a condition also known as having “low” thyroid or an underactive thyroid. It means that the thyroid fails to produce enough essential thyroid hormones to properly do its job. This condition can result from autoimmune causes, like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, but can also result from a chronically stressed thyroid gland. This stress can come from aging, from the presence of other significant medical conditions, from surgery or trauma not related to the thyroid gland, from chronic life stressors, or from any manipulation to the thyroid gland (surgery for thyroid cancer or nodules, radioactive ablation, etc).
What are Symptoms?
Typical symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland include fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, dry or brittle hair, hair loss, joint pain and swelling, constipation, menstrual irregularities, cold intolerance, depressed or sluggish mood, infertility, and heart disease. A patient may even notice a swelling in the front of the neck.
What is the Treatment for Thyroid Imbalances?
Dr. Janine Rihmland has extensive experience in diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. The conventional treatment for hypothyroidism is to use a medication, called Synthroid or levothyroxine, and the usual laboratory parameter to follow is checking a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). This method works well for some patients. However, for many others, despite being told their bloodwork is in normal range, they simply don’t feel well.
At The Health Center for Integrative Medicine, we will take an integrative approach. Lab work is more extensive, we will address other issues that may be contributing to not feeling well, and treatment options will be more extensive. We will partner together to decide on which thyroid treatment would work best for you.
As an aside, Dr. Janine Rihmland has diagnosed many patients with thyroid cancer through her thorough workup of hypothyroidism. Also, through the referral of a local thyroid cancer support group, we have brought in new patients to the practice to be followed for post-thyroid cancer care.