Thyroid Imbalances: A Functional Medicine Approach
Functional medicine takes a personalized, systems-oriented approach to managing thyroid conditions that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of the condition. While conventional medicine may rely primarily on medication to manage thyroid conditions, Dr. Ernesto Medina at 4Healing Health & Wellness Center takes a more functional approach by using a range of holistic interventions to optimize thyroid function and promote overall health and wellbeing.
One key component of a functional medicine approach to managing thyroid conditions is testing. Functional medicine practitioners like Dr. Ernesto Medina often will use comprehensive thyroid panels to assess thyroid hormone levels, as well as other markers of thyroid function such as thyroid antibodies and nutrient levels. This allows practitioners to identify any imbalances or deficiencies that may be contributing to the condition. An initial and complete Thyroid blood panel should include the following tests:
T4 total and free
T3 total and free
Another important aspect of functional medicine management for thyroid conditions is nutrition. Functional medicine practitioners recognize that diet plays a crucial role in thyroid function and may work with patients to develop individualized nutrition plans that emphasize whole, nutrient-dense foods, and the elimination of inflammation driving foods. These plans may include foods that are rich in iodine, selenium, and other nutrients that are essential for healthy thyroid function.
Dr. Ernesto Medina may also use targeted supplementation to help optimize thyroid function. He often uses initial baseline blood tests to determine nutritional status and to identify underlying nutritional deficiencies that may be driving Thyroid related symptoms. Certain nutrients, such as selenium, zinc, Omega 3 fish oils and vitamin D, have been shown to support thyroid health and may be recommended as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
It is important to note that roughly 90% of Thyroid conditions are driven by an autoimmune disease. If your autoimmune status is not being evaluated as part of a Thyroid work up, the underlying root cause of your Thyroid condition may go unaddressed for years. There is no medication or pharmaceutical that addresses the autoimmune component of Thyroid conditions.
Overall, a functional medicine approach to managing thyroid conditions is a comprehensive, personalized approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of the condition. By incorporating testing, nutrition, stress reduction, targeted supplementation, and other interventions, Dr. Medina can help patients optimize thyroid function and promote overall health and wellbeing.