How we identify and manage thyroid disorders
An estimated 27 million people in the United States suffer from thyroid-related illness, the majority of them are women. Yet thyroid-related conditions are often misdiagnosed. Thyroid disease is now an epidemic, and numbers are growing. Dr. Aleksander Kanevsky is trained in Functional Medicine to recognize certain patterns that can identify thyroid related conditions.
Using functional medicine testing, Dr. Aleksander Kanevsky will find a root cause of thyroid disfunction and will guide through a personalized healing plan to achieve balance and health. There are multiple factors that can affect thyroid function including genetic, environmental, dietary, stress, pathogens. Routine testing often miss essential information to evaluate thyroid function, and many people still complain of symptoms associated with low thyroid function:
- Weight gain
- Brain fog
- Poor memory
- Difficulty sleeping
- Cold intolerance
- Hair loss
- Irregular periods
- Poor concentration
- Joint and muscle pain
- Slow metabolism
Many of these symptoms can be also associated with other health conditions such as hypertension, gall bladder disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high cholesterol and others. But, even if one of these symptoms is associated with thyroid imbalance, it is very important to consult with a practitioner specialized in thyroid health. Since the thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which controls nearly every cell, organ and tissue in the body, untreated thyroid dysfunction may lead to elevated cholesterol levels and subsequent heart disease, as well as infertility and osteoporosis.
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland located in the base of the neck. Although relatively small, thyroid function plays a very important role in overall health and well-being. Been a part of an endocrine system, the thyroid gland influences the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and skin. Ensuring that the thyroid gland is healthy is extremely important to keep function of these vital organs.
How The Thyroid Works
Excerpted from The Harvard Medical School Guide to Overcoming Thyroid Problems by Dr. Jeffrey R. Garber, published by McGraw-Hill.
Think about your thyroid as a motor that establishes the tone at which your body works. This motor delivers the necessary amount of energy for a vehicle to move at a specific speed. Similarly, your thyroid gland produces enough thyroid hormone to incite the organs in your body to perform out at a specific speed.
Similarly, as a vehicle can’t deliver energy without gas, your thyroid needs fuel in form of nutrients to create thyroid hormone. One of these nutrients is iodine. Iodine originates from your diet. The thyroid extracts iodine from the circulatory system and uses it to make two types of thyroid hormone: Thyroxine, also called T4 because it contains four iodine atoms; and Triiodothyronine, or T3, which contains three iodine atoms. T3 is made from T4 when one iodine atom is removed. This transformation mostly takes place outside the thyroid gland, in organs and tissues where T3 is utilized the most, for example, the liver, the kidneys and the brain.
Once T4 is made, it is stored in thyroid gland. Small amount of T3 is also made and stored away in the thyroid. At the point when your body needs thyroid hormone, it is secreted into your circulatory system in amounts set to meet the metabolic needs of your organs.
As a car engine produces energy, however you control how fast to step on the accelerator. The thyroid needs to be directed in the same way. This is controlled by your pituitary gland, which is situated at the base of your brain. No bigger than a pea, the pituitary gland is also called as the “master gland” since it controls the function of the thyroid and other gland that make up the endocrine framework. Your pituitary gland sends messages to your thyroid gland, telling it how much thyroid hormone to make. The hormone responsible for this action is called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).
TSH levels in your circulation system rise or fall contingent upon whether enough thyroid hormone is produced to address your body’s needs. Increased levels of TSH prompt the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. On the other hand, when lesser amounts of thyroid hormone needed, pituitary gland produces less TSH.
The pituitary gland gets its information in a few different ways. It can respond to the amounts of circulating T4 the blood, but also can respond to the stimulus coming from Hypothalamus gland, which is also located in the brain and reacts to circulating T4 in the blood. Hypothalamus releases its own hormone, Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone (TRH). TRH stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete TSH. This system of communication between hypothalamus, pituitary and thyroid glands is referred as Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid Axis (HPT Axis).
What Happens When This Process Goes Wrong?
HTP Axis is a highly efficient process. Normally, the thyroid produces the right amount of hormone (T4) to keep systems running smoothly. TSH level remains fairly constant, yet pituitary gland responds to the slight changes in T4 levels.
When outside impacts, for example, toxins, nutritional imbalances, certain drugs, infection, etc. impose harm to the gland, your thyroid probably won’t deliver enough hormone. This will cause a condition known as Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. This would slow down most of your body’s functions. Your thyroid could likewise produce an excessive amount of hormone sending endocrine frameworks into overdrive, a condition known as Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. These two conditions frequently highlight a fundamental for thyroid illness.
Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Sometimes the thyroid can’t satisfy your body’s needs for thyroid hormone, despite the fact that TSH levels increment. As your body slows down, you may feel cold, tired and even depressed. You may put on weight, although you are eating less.
There could be various reasons why your thyroid isn’t performing well. For instance, if your body isn’t getting enough iodine, your thyroid won’t make enough thyroid hormone, however the pituitary gland will attempt to react by rising TSH levels. This can make the thyroid become enlarged and form into a goiter that causes swelling in the neck. Goiters used to be normal, however they have gotten considerably less basic in created nations on account of iodine-braced nourishments.
In different cases, the thyroid goes under assault by your body’s own immune system. Typically, substances called antibodies shield you from hazardous microorganisms (viruses and bacteria) and toxic elements (mercury and copper). Condition, when antibodies attack thyroid gland by mistake, is known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis includes the presence of two types of antibodies Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO Abs) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb). Prolonged exposure of thyroid gland to thyroid antibodies, may result in thyroid gland failure. Disorders like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis that result from abnormal immune response are called autoimmune disorders.
In addition to antibodies testing, it is very important to test for other markers: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, T3 Uptake. Measuring these values will help to understand patterns of low thyroid function. By understanding these chemical panels, thyroid trained specialist can provide support needed.
How do you know if you have a thyroid problem?
Since many symptoms might be hidden or resemble other health conditions, the best way to know for sure is consult trained thyroid specialist. Dr. Aleksander Kanevsky is trained in thyroid health and located in New York City. You will be guided through functional medicine testing that help to reveal patterns of thyroid dysfunctions. These findings help create personalize program to combat thyroid dysfunction.
Management of a Thyroid problem
Thyroid health management is not a simple task and cannot have “one size fits all” approach. Every person is a unique interchange of genetics, environment, spirituality and lifestyle. We use system-oriented method to find the root cause of the dysfunction. When we collect all the information, including comprehensive history intake and the results of functional lab testing, we can develop personalized approach that will facilitate healing by restoring balance bringing mind and body back into alignment.
Dr. Aleksander Kanevsky, functional medicine doctor in nyc, has helped many patients using multiple protocols based on individualized findings. Please call our office at (212) 888-0520 to find how we can help.