Exhausted, moody and forgetful patients often come in with this common complaint: “I’m tired, but I can’t sleep, I’m gaining weight like crazy, and my head feels weird.” If you’ve been struggling with insomnia, brain fog or unexplained weight gain, it may be time to check your thyroid gland.
That little butterfly-shaped organ at the base of your neck may be producing too much or not enough thyroid hormone. So many biological functions are controlled by your hormones: energy, mood, metabolism, body temperature, sleep, sexual function, digestion, even hair and nail growth.
Endocrinologists often give patients one generic thyroid test and make a diagnosis based on a traditionally accepted but outdated “normal” range. Some traditional doctors get so frustrated with thyroid imbalance symptoms they refer patients to a psychiatrist!
Naturopathic doctors like Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss, on the other hand, understand that digging up the root causes of your symptoms takes time, patience and the highly integrative approach they’ve been practicing for over a decade.
Rather than dictating what thyroid hormone level is “normal” for everyone, they strive to determine what level is optimal – for you. They want to know what level will enable you to function and maintain your lifestyle. For them, “normal” means symptom-free. So, they delve deeper, and don’t stop testing and treating until you feel better.
For compassionate, non-invasive naturopathic thyroid treatment, schedule a consultation with Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss. Call the Vibrant Health Naturopathic Medical Center at (630) 610-8882 or contact us here.
If your body functions require more or less thyroid hormone than your gland is currently producing, you may be struggling with:
Some patients panic, fearing it’s thyroid cancer – a very rare condition. If you have nodules (lumps) on your thyroid gland Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss will have them evaluated to make sure they’re benign. Most likely your symptoms are being stimulated by your thyroid gland’s over or under production of thyroid hormone.
Hypothyroidism is diagnosed when your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones, potentially leading to weight gain, fatigue, feeling cold, muscle weakness, high cholesterol, joint pain or stiffness, and even depression.
Along with insulin and leptin resistance, low thyroid hormone can make losing weight very difficult – as your thyroid gland affects metabolic rate, blood sugar, affecting hunger and satiety.
Research has repeatedly demonstrated the link between hypothyroidism and obesity. That’s why Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss thoroughly investigate your energy production, basal metabolism and other weight loss saboteurs.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: autoimmune inflammation disrupting the thyroid gland’s hormone production. Whole or partial surgical removal of the thyroid gland also disables thyroid hormone production.
Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed when a hyperactive thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormone than your body needs, causing fatigue, hair loss, irritability, weight loss and excessive sweating.
Unlike some traditional doctors, Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss won’t assume your exhaustion and moods are all in your head – they’ll tweak your hormone levels until you feel like yourself again.
Common hyperthyroidism causes include Graves’ disease (an autoimmune dysfunction) and thyroiditis (thyroid gland inflammation). Thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer are rare causes of an overactive thyroid.
Left untreated, both hyper- and hypothyroidism can enlarge the thyroid gland until it develops a goiter – which can cause your neck to swell and make swallowing difficult.
First, Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss will become familiar with your symptoms, general health, genetic predispositions, medical history, lifestyle and stress levels – all which may be contributing to your symptoms. Then, they may order these diagnostic tests:
Traditional doctors test levels of your TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) which tells your thyroid gland to produce and release hormones into your bloodstream. But what range is “normal”? Some doctors wait until your TSH is at level 10 to diagnose you with hypothyroidism – despite all the low thyroid symptoms you’re suffering!
Not Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss. They will also test your:
This can explain a lot. You could have extremely low levels of T4 and T3, and well as thyroid-damaging antibodies, yet still have a TSH level that many endocrinologists consider “normal”. At Vibrant Health, we continue to search for the root cause– no matter how many tests it requires.
To help you lose weight Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss may also test and rebalance your:
They’ll determine whether you have leaky gut syndrome, gluten or dairy sensitivities, or deficiencies of: B vitamins, vitamin D3, folate, ferritin, magnesium, zinc, iodine, essential fatty acids (Omega 3), amino acids, and other essential nutrients iron.
They’ll also screen for reactivated viruses like Epstein-Barr virus and human herpes virus (HHV6), then test your blood for these increased antibodies:
If a viral infection is detected, they’ll prescribe an anti-viral protocol that may include custom anti-viral herbal formulations, Lose Dose Immunotherapy, homeopathy, natural anti-viral IVs, or botanical protocols like Byron White Formulas – herbal compounds that support immune response, detoxification and homeostasis. For more serious viral presentations, our doctors have the ability to prescribe anti-virals such as Valtrex, though most patients respond extremely well to our naturopathic approach.
Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss may combine one or more of the following:
They may prescribe a custom formulation that contains proprietary amounts of:
If you have been diagnosed with an auto-immune thyroid condition, and your thyroid gland doesn’t respond to other supplements, Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss may prescribe Low Dose Naltrexone. A compounding pharmacy will titrate your precise dose for as long as your body needs it.
LDN may actually turn off the cells that cause autoimmunity by:
By increasing your endogenous endorphin production, Low Dose Naltrexone may reduce inflammation, promote DNA synthesis, and help heal your gut. All of these actions appear to result in decreased autoimmunity seen with Hashimoto’s, Hypothyroidism or Grave’s Disease, and has been observed to improve thyroid numbers quite drastically.
In cases of auto-immune thyroid disorders, our doctors may recommend adopting an autoimmune diet. The inflammation and leaky gut that are so common with these disorders may require eliminating or restricting: grains; legumes (beans, soy, peanuts, hummus); dairy products, processed foods, vegetable and canola oils, eggs, nuts and seeds, chocolate and certain spices like coriander and cumin; nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes; alcoholic beverages; gum, refined sugars and alternative sweeteners; emulsifiers and food thickeners; and NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin (Bufferin), and naproxen sodium (Aleve).
You’ll be coached to replace inflammatory foods with these thyroid-healthy foods:
Naturopathic doctors constantly track potential negative interactions between the treatments listed above, as well as potential contraindications with other medications. Your feedback will be incorporated, and your custom protocol adjusted as needed.
Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss will try to optimize your thyroid hormone levels in the least invasive way possible. Natural dessicated thyroid – extracted from the dried thyroid gland of pigs – is a commonly prescribed, clinically validated FDA-regulated treatment.
When necessary, Dr. Schertell and Dr. Mauss may also prescribe natural levothyroxine – the main thyroid hormone – in the form of: Armour®, Nature-Throid®, Westhroid® or WP Thyroid® or Tirosint® (hypoallergenic liquid).
For serious cases, or in cases of poor thyroid conversion or excessive Reverse T-3 production, Cytomel® T3 may be prescribed in the form of a compounded slow release T3, or as a prescription known as Cytomel®. Compounded sustained-release T3 may also be useful in treating or preventing goiter (enlarged thyroid gland). All medications must be used exactly as prescribed.
Don’t let your thyroid imbalance symptoms define you. Allow the thorough, naturopathic touch of dedicated specialists resolve your hypo or hyper thyroid condition. Call Dr. Schertell or Dr. Mauss for a customized, compassionate consultation at (630) 610-8882 or contact us here.
Monday: 8:30am - 05:00pm
Tuesday: 8:30am - 05:00pm
Wednesday: 9:30am - 05:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am - 05:00pm
Friday: 9:30am - 3:30pm
There is ample free parking in the lot outside of our building.