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Orange County, CA

Low Thyroid Treatment in Carlsbad, CA

A picture of Dr. Mark Stengler

The Definition of Low Thyroid

Dr. Stengler sees a great many individuals every year with thyroid issues-- so many that he and many other doctors believe that thyroid disorders are epidemic in our country. Reasons for the rise: Environmental toxins, side effects from pharmaceutical medications, and stress. The thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ in the front of the neck, produces several hormones that regulate the metabolism of every cell in the body.

Low thyroid activity, called hypothyroidism, is the most prevalent disorder of the thyroid. Around 10 million Americans are diagnosed with it-- but Dr. Stengler approximates that 30 million have the condition, including those who don't know it. Could you-- or your physician-- not know you have an underactive thyroid?


Symptoms such as fatigue ... cold hands and feet ... gaining weight for no reason ... dry skin and/or hair loss ... or depression all can be the result of a hectic, stressful lifestyle-- or they can be symptoms of low thyroid activity. Some people have many symptoms, while others have none at all. My typical hypothyroid patient is a woman in her late 40s or early 50s, but low thyroid activity can affect anyone at any age.

Common Causes

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing thyroid inflammation and underproduction of thyroid hormones. Low thyroid activity is 5 to 10 times more common in women than in men. People with this condition appear to have a genetic predisposition to it, although there are other possible causes, like imbalances of other hormones (particularly insulin resistance seen with diabetes), food allergies (such as gluten), and stress. Less common causes are failure of the pituitary gland or a pituitary tumor.

Diagnosis Confusion

Many doctors, including both traditional and holistic, fail to properly diagnose low thyroid activity. Often, they perform just one standard blood test-- the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test-- which gives a general indication of thyroid activity but overlooks all of the subtleties of thyroid function. What to do: Have a holistic physician run a complete thyroid test panel, which includes an assessment of free T3 and free T4, the principal thyroid hormones, and also tests for thyroid antibodies.

If your free T3 and/or free T4 levels are low, your doctor will see that you have a low thyroid condition. But what complicates the matter is that many individuals' free T3 and free T4 levels are on the low side of the "normal" range. A lot of conventional physicians consider this low side of normal to be acceptable, but we believe that the standard for "normal" is too low. Example: The "normal" range for free T3, which is the most active thyroid hormone, is 230 picograms per deciliter (pg/dL) to 420 pg/dL. If somebody's test shows 240 pg/dL, plenty of physicians will declare that this is acceptable. we find, however, that when we have our patients' T3 levels closer to the mid-range-- to 320 pg/dL or higher-- they feel much better.

The same goes for free T4. The "normal" range is 0.8 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) to 1.8 ng/dL. We find that if a patient's test reveals that his free T4 is 0.9 ng/dL, he will feel better if we can get the free T4 level to 1.2 ng/dL or higher.

Also remember: Your tests will identify whether you have a normal free T4 level combined with either a low or low-normal free T3 level. Here's why you want to know: Your body should convert T4 to T3. But if your TSH and T4 levels are normal, while your T3 level is low or low-normal, you're most likely having trouble converting T4 to T3. That means you need supplemental T3 or need help converting T4 to T3. Because there is so much under-diagnosed low thyroid in the general population, we believe that patients are significantly helped when they know the complexities of these test results.

Hormone Replacement

The majority of traditional doctors prescribe only synthetic T4 to patients with hypothyroidism. That's because this hormone (sold as Synthroid, Levoxyl and Levothroid) has been the most heavily marketed. In our practice, We've found that synthetic T4 on its own doesn't work very well. If a person isn't effectively converting T4 to T3, prescribing more T4 doesn't make a lot of sense.

We prescribe natural, bioidentical (chemically identical to hormones made naturally by the body) thyroid hormone replacement therapy, such as Armour Thyroid, and Nature-Thyroid Westhroid, which are made from desiccated pig thyroid. (These are safe for everyone except people who are allergic to pork.) These provide T3 and T4. Another good choice is compounded Bioidentical T4 and T3 (which have no animal origin).

Side effects are uncommon. Learn more about this topic and more in our Health Breakthroughs.

Nutritional Support

For all our patients with low thyroid activity, we recommend several nutrients to help the body make more of its own thyroid hormones. They are safe for everyone.

  • L-tyrosine-- This amino acid is the foundation of thyroid hormones. Take 500 mg approximately 30 minutes before breakfast.
  • Multivitamins-- These have many nutrients, such as selenium, zinc and B vitamins, that are needed to convert T4 to T3.
  • Iodine-- This element is an essential part of T4 and T3. Take at least 150 micrograms (mcg) daily. Do not take iodine therapy if you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis unless under a physician's guidance. Higher doses may be helpful-- and these are best prescribed by a nutrition-oriented physician.

For further information about Dr. Stengler’s practice and his clinic in Carlsbad, California, please visit our website at or give us a call at (760) 274-2377

Why Choose the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine?

When it comes to addressing thyroid issues and hypothyroidism, choosing the right healthcare provider is essential. Here are some compelling reasons why you should choose the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine for your thyroid care:

  1. Expertise and Dedication: Dr. Stengler is a leading expert in integrative medicine with a wealth of experience in treating thyroid disorders. With a deep understanding of the complexities of thyroid function, Dr. Stengler and our team are dedicated to providing compassionate care and personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique needs.
  2. Comprehensive Approach: We take a comprehensive approach to thyroid health, addressing not just the symptoms but also the underlying causes of hypothyroidism. By considering factors such as environmental toxins, medication side effects, and stress, we strive to provide holistic care that promotes long-term wellness and vitality.
  3. Advanced Diagnostic Testing: Unlike many conventional healthcare providers who rely solely on standard blood tests, we recognize the importance of thorough diagnostic testing in accurately assessing thyroid function. Our holistic approach includes comprehensive thyroid panels that evaluate free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies, ensuring a more accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.
  4. Natural Treatment Options: At the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine, we believe in harnessing the body's natural healing abilities to promote thyroid health. We offer a range of natural treatment options, including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, herbal remedies, and nutritional support, all of which are designed to support thyroid function and alleviate symptoms without the use of synthetic medications.
  5. Patient-Centered Care: Your health and well-being are our top priorities. We take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and involve you in the decision-making process every step of the way. Our patient-centered approach ensures that you feel supported, empowered, and confident in your treatment plan.
  6. Results-Oriented Approach: Our goal is to help you achieve meaningful results and improve your quality of life. Whether you're struggling with fatigue, weight gain, or other symptoms of hypothyroidism, we're here to help you reclaim your health and vitality so you can live your best life.

Experience the Stengler Difference

If you're looking for comprehensive, compassionate care for your thyroid health, look no further than the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards optimal thyroid health and overall wellness. Visit our website at or call us at (760) 274-2377 to learn more. Your journey to better health starts here.

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