On Treating Hypothyroidism: Three decades of holistic clinical experience have taught me that one size does not fit all.
Nov 01, 2019 01:15AM
By Marilee Burrell
Common symptoms of Hashimoto’s and/or hypothyroidism include hair loss, weight gain, brain fog, excessive chilliness and fatigue. However, I’ve even seen joint and muscle pains, headaches, chronic sinus congestion and a myriad of other symptoms completely resolve after proper thyroid treatment. If there is one thing I’ve learned after 30 years of practice, it’s this: One size does not fit all.
Every person is unique in the way he or she manifests disease symptoms. From a homeopathic perspective, I treat the person, not just the disease. A patient’s mental and emotional symptoms are just as important as his or her physical symptoms when it comes to selecting the correct constitutional homeopathic medicine. Often with homeopathic treatment, we can begin lowering the dose of thyroid medications.
From a functional medicine perspective, I treat the gut; correcting imbalances there will often begin resolving the autoimmune process. Sometimes I’ll order a comprehensive stool analysis to check for dysbiosis (microbiome imbalances), inflammation and other markers of gastrointestinal health. Often I’ll have patients follow an elimination diet for a few weeks; by removing certain foods, like gluten, dairy, corn, soy and eggs, we can determine which ones are causing problems such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, joint pain, brain fog or headaches. For some people, adrenal supports are helpful; a simple salivary test to rule out adrenal fatigue can confirm this. Finally, removing heavy metals (mercury and other toxins) through a detoxification program can be very helpful in some patients to completely resolve the autoimmune process.
Selecting the best thyroid replacement is often key. Some patients feel fine with the standard levothyroxine, while others feel much better on a natural desiccated compound such as Nature-Throid or Armour Thyroid. Still others need a compounded thyroid combination, which allows me to tweak the ratio of T4 to T3.
My goal is to help patients feel their best, and I can often accomplish this with a combination of homeopathic and functional medicine.
Susanne Saltzman, M.D., owner of Hartsdale Homeopathy family practice, treats acute and chronic illness in children and adults. For more info, contact her at [email protected] or visit HartsdaleHomeopathy.com.