Thyroid Treatment Q & A

by Rashmi Gulati, MD

What is thyroid disease?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck, and it plays a critical role in regulating many processes in your body, most notably your metabolism, or the ability to convert food into energy which can be used by the body. Thyroid diseases can be divided into two types based on the effects they cause on the production of thyroid hormones – hyperthyroidism, which results from excess thyroid activity and hormone production and is associated with a “fast” metabolism, and hypothyroidism, in which thyroid hormones are underproduced, resulting in a “slow” metabolism.

What causes thyroid disease?

Thyroid disease can have several causes, including:

  • Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism
  • Hashimoto's disease, a primary cause of hypothyroidism
  • too much or too little iodine, an essential element for healthy thyroid function
  • tumors that affect the thyroid directly or indirectly

How are thyroid problems diagnosed?

The best way to determine if a thyroid issue is present is with a blood test. While many doctors use a standard test called TSH, T3 or T4, our practice uses a much more sensitive test called TRH which was developed to assess thyroid function. TRH is much more effective in diagnosing thyroid issues that otherwise can go undetected with standard blood tests. In addition, we can test for underlying factors that can cause thyroid diseases, including heavy metals that build up in the bloodstream, adrenal gland dysfunction, immune system function and gastrointestinal function and imbalances that can lead to problems with the thyroid gland.

How is thyroid disease treated?

Once the underlying causes and contributing factors have been identified, we use natural supplements to optimize your body's health and support healthy thyroid function, as well as bioidentical hormone supplements designed to function just like your body's natural hormones. Ongoing evaluation ensures your therapy evolves with your needs.

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