Functional Medicine for Thyroid Health

by | HEALTH, Thyroid | 0 comments

Thyroid Health

Functional medicine is a holistic approach to health that aims to treat the root cause of disease instead of just managing the symptoms.

This approach has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially when it comes to thyroid health. The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck that produces hormones that regulate metabolism, energy levels, body temperature and more.

When the thyroid is not functioning properly, it can lead to a range of symptoms and health issues.

Here are some of the benefits of functional medicine for thyroid health.

1. Identifying and addressing underlying causes.

One of the key principles of functional medicine is to identify and address the underlying causes of health issues. When it comes to thyroid health, this means looking beyond just the thyroid gland itself and considering factors such as gut health, brain health, immune function, adrenal health, hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, stress and more. By addressing these underlying issues, functional medicine practitioners can help to restore balance to the body and support optimal thyroid function. For example, gut health is closely linked to thyroid health, as the gut produces hormones that regulate the thyroid. We may assess a patient’s gut health and recommend dietary changes, supplements, or other interventions to support gut health and thyroid function. Similarly, nutrient deficiencies such as iodine, selenium, and zinc can impact thyroid health, and a functional medicine practitioner may recommend dietary changes or supplements to address these deficiencies. Always work with a practitioner before taking supplements, especially when you have an underlying condition. 

2. Personalised treatment plans.

Another key benefit of functional medicine for thyroid health is the emphasis on personalised treatment plans. Every person’s body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. A functional medicine practitioner will take a personalised approach to thyroid health, considering factors such as the patient’s medical history, symptoms, lifestyle, and goals.

For example, a functional medicine practitioner may recommend different dietary changes or supplements based on a patient’s unique needs and preferences. They may also recommend lifestyle changes such as stress reduction techniques or exercise that are tailored to the patient’s individual situation.

3. Integration of conventional and alternative therapies.

Functional medicine practitioners are trained to integrate both conventional and alternative therapies in their treatment plans. This means that they can use a variety of tools and approaches to support thyroid health, including medication with our private GP, supplements, dietary changes, and stress reduction techniques. For example, as your functional medicine practitioner I can work with our private GP or with a patient’s conventional medical doctor to optimise their thyroid medication dosage while also recommending supplements or dietary changes to support overall thyroid health. This integrated approach can lead to better outcomes for patients and a more comprehensive approach to thyroid health.

4. Focus on prevention.

Finally, functional medicine has a strong focus on prevention. By identifying and addressing underlying issues before they become more serious, functional medicine practitioners can help to prevent future health issues from developing. This is particularly important when it comes to thyroid health, as thyroid issues can lead to a range of health issues such as weight gain, fatigue, and depression. For example, a functional medicine practitioner may work with a patient to identify and address early signs of thyroid dysfunction, such as changes in energy levels or body temperature. By catching these issues early and addressing them through personalised interventions, functional medicine can help to prevent more serious thyroid issues from developing in the future.

5. Focus on all parts of the pathways.

Conventional medicine uses medication alone to support thyroid health, however the medication only works on one part of the thyroid pathway, the TSH levels. Functional medicine gives you the opportunity to support all parts of the thyroid pathway from thyroid hormone production to conversion to uptake at cell receptor sites. Functional medicine practitioners also help you to untangle the connections between your thyroid and other parts of the body. For example, as a functional practitioner we may also assess for ability to convert T4 to T3 and your underlying inflammation and autoimmunity, as well as looking at other areas in the body that are impacted by thyroid health such as the cerebellum in the brain.

In conclusion, functional medicine has many benefits when it comes to thyroid health, mainly in viewing your body as a whole, working on all parts of the thyroid pathway and the interconnections around the body. By taking a personalised and holistic approach to treatment, functional medicine practitioners can identify and address the underlying causes of thyroid issues, develop personalised plans, integrate conventional and alternative therapies, and focus on prevention. If you are experiencing thyroid issues, consider working with us to support your thyroid health and overall well-being.

If you want to find out more about how functional medicine could support you and your thyroid why not start with one of our free downloads. 

Understand your thyroid test results 

30 steps to thyroid health


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Hey there, I'm Nicole

Founder & Clinical Director of Goode Health – Winner of Functional Medicine Clinic UK 2023 at the Health, Wellness & Beauty Awards. Read my articles here we discuss health & wellness topics as well as myth busting and tips & tricks. And don’t forget to join the conversation on instagram @goode_health.