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Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Low Thyroid Treatment in Del Mar, CA

A picture of Dr. Mark Stengler

Unlocking the Mysteries of Low Thyroid:

A Comprehensive Guide in Del Mar, CA

Low thyroid activity, also known as hypothyroidism, has become an epidemic in our country, affecting millions of Americans. At our Del Mar, CA location, Dr. Stengler and our team of physicians understand the prevalence and impact of thyroid disorders. We believe that environmental toxins, pharmaceutical medications' side effects, and the pervasive stress of modern life are contributing factors to this alarming rise. Located in beautiful Del Mar, our clinic is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for individuals with low thyroid function.

Understanding Low Thyroid: Signs and Symptoms

Fatigue, cold hands and feet, unexplained weight gain, dry skin and hair loss, and depression are all potential signs of low thyroid activity. These symptoms can easily be mistaken for the effects of a busy, stressful lifestyle. However, they may actually indicate an underlying thyroid issue. It is important to note that symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. While our typical hypothyroid patient in Del Mar is a woman in her late 40s or early 50s, low thyroid activity can affect individuals of any age or gender.

Unraveling the Causes of Hypothyroidism

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that leads to inflammation of the thyroid gland. This inflammation impairs the production of thyroid hormones. In Del Mar, women are particularly susceptible to low thyroid activity, with the condition occurring five to ten times more often in women than in men. While genetics play a role in developing hypothyroidism, other factors such as imbalances in other hormones (including insulin resistance seen with diabetes), food allergies (such as gluten sensitivity), and stress can also contribute. In some cases, pituitary gland failure or a pituitary tumor may be the cause.

The Diagnostic Challenge

Unfortunately, many doctors, both conventional and holistic, often fail to accurately diagnose low thyroid activity. They often rely solely on a single standard blood test, the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, which provides only a general indication of thyroid function. At our Del Mar clinic, we take a more comprehensive approach. Our experienced holistic doctors will run a full thyroid test panel, including an evaluation of free T3 and free T4 (the primary thyroid hormones) and tests for thyroid antibodies. This thorough assessment ensures a more accurate diagnosis.

Do You Have Subclinical Hypothyroidism?

Many individuals have what is called subclinical hypothyroidism. This is a condition where a person does not have obvious or easily identifiable hypothyroid (low thyroid) on a lab test ... unless your physician is trained in detecting subtle imbalances that cause significant health problems. Doctors need to know that an individual's signs and symptoms are just as important as lab testing. If you have several hypothyroid signs and symptoms, then you most likely do have a thyroid imbalance.

According to the Endocrine Society, subclinical hypothyroidism is more prevalent than normal hypothyroidism (based on regular lab testing). Subclinical hypothyroidism is referred to in traditional medicine as when the TSH (message from the brain telling the thyroid to produce more or less thyroid hormone) is slightly raised, yet the circulating thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) are normal. The TSH is usually less than 10mIU/L but above the reference range of 5.5 mIU/L. People with subclinical hypothyroidism have a high rate of progression to overt hypothyroidism.

Interpreting Test Results: Redefining the "Normal" Range

Interpreting thyroid test results can be challenging. Many patients fall within the lower end of the "normal" range for free T3 and free T4 levels. However, we believe that the standard for "normal" is set too low. At our Del Mar location, we strive to optimize hormone levels closer to the mid-range for better patient outcomes. For example, we aim for free T3 levels of 320 pg/dL or higher and free T4 levels of 1.2 ng/dL or higher. By fine-tuning hormone levels, our patients report significant improvements in their overall well-being.

Understanding T4 to T3 Conversion

It is essential to consider whether an individual has a normal free T4 level combined with a low or low-normal free T3 level. The body should effectively convert T4 to T3 for optimal thyroid function. If TSH and T4 levels are within the normal range while T3 levels remain low or low-normal, it indicates difficulties in converting T4 to T3. In such cases, supplemental T3 or assistance in the conversion process may be necessary. Our Del Mar clinic specializes in diagnosing and treating these complex cases of low thyroid activity.

Exploring Hormone Replacement Therapy

Unlike many conventional physicians who primarily prescribe synthetic T4, we take a different approach at our Del Mar location. While synthetic T4 medications like Synthroid, Levoxyl, and Levothroid are commonly prescribed, we have found that they may not be sufficient for optimal results. If T4 to T3 conversion is problematic, prescribing additional T4 alone may not be the most effective solution. Instead, we recommend natural, bioidentical thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Options such as Armour Thyroid, Nature-Thyroid, Westhroid (derived from desiccated pig thyroid), or compounded bioidentical T4 and T3 provide a more balanced combination of hormones that closely mimic the body's natural production. Rest assured, these treatment options are safe for most individuals, with the exception of those allergic to pork.

Empowering Your Thyroid with Nutritional Support

In our Del Mar clinic, we believe in a holistic approach to thyroid health. In addition to hormone replacement therapy, we emphasize the importance of nutritional support to optimize thyroid function. Dr. Stengler recommends specific nutrients that help the body produce its own thyroid hormones. These include:

L-tyrosine: This amino acid serves as the foundation for thyroid hormone production. Taking 500 mg approximately 30 minutes before breakfast can support thyroid health.

Multivitamin: A comprehensive multivitamin is crucial as it provides essential nutrients like selenium, zinc, and B vitamins that aid in the conversion of T4 to T3.

Iodine: An essential element for T4 and T3 synthesis, iodine intake is essential. It is recommended to consume at least 150 micrograms (mcg) of iodine daily. However, individuals with Hashimoto's thyroiditis should consult a physician before starting iodine therapy. Higher doses may be beneficial but should be prescribed by a nutrition-oriented physician.

Discover Thyroid Health in Del Mar, CA 

At our Del Mar clinic, we are dedicated to unraveling the complexities of low thyroid activity and providing comprehensive care tailored to your unique needs. Led by Dr. Stengler, a renowned expert in integrative medicine, our team is committed to helping you regain balance, vitality, and optimal thyroid function. Located in the beautiful city of Del Mar, our clinic is ready to guide you on your journey to better thyroid health and an improved quality of life. To learn more about our Del Mar location and the services we offer, please visit our website at or contact us directly at (760) 274-2377.

Take Charge of Your Thyroid Health Today

If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of low thyroid activity or have already been diagnosed, don't wait to seek comprehensive care. Our Del Mar clinic is here to support you in understanding and addressing your thyroid concerns. By combining the best of conventional and complementary medicine, we provide personalized care that focuses on your overall well-being. Take the first step towards optimizing your thyroid health by contacting our Del Mar location today.

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