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Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Low Thyroid Treatment in La Mesa, CA

A picture of Dr. Mark Stengler

Unlocking the Mysteries of Low Thyroid:

A Comprehensive Guide

Low thyroid activity, medically known as hypothyroidism, has reached epidemic proportions in our country, affecting millions of Americans. Dr. Stengler and many other physicians are seeing a significant increase in thyroid disorders, which can be attributed to various factors such as environmental toxins, pharmaceutical medications' side effects, and the ever-present stress of modern life. The thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped organ located in the front of the neck, plays a crucial role in producing hormones that regulate the metabolism of every cell in the body.

Understanding Low Thyroid: Signs and Symptoms

Fatigue, cold hands and feet, unexplained weight gain, dry skin and hair loss, and depression are all symptoms that may be mistakenly attributed to a busy, stressful lifestyle. However, they can also be indicative of low thyroid activity. It is important to note that individuals may experience a range of symptoms, while others may exhibit no signs at all. Typically, women in their late 40s or early 50s are more prone to hypothyroidism, but it can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender.

Unraveling the Causes of Hypothyroidism

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder characterized by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, resulting in inflammation and reduced production of thyroid hormones. Women are five to ten times more likely to develop low thyroid activity than men, with genetics playing a role in predisposition. Additionally, imbalances of other hormones, insulin resistance associated with diabetes, food allergies (such as gluten sensitivity), and stress can contribute to the development of hypothyroidism. Less frequently, hypothyroidism may be caused by pituitary gland failure or a pituitary tumor.

The Diagnostic Challenge

Unfortunately, many doctors, both conventional and holistic, often fail to diagnose low thyroid activity accurately. Typically, a single standard blood test, the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, is performed, providing a general indication of thyroid function but overlooking the intricacies of thyroid hormone levels. It is crucial to consult a holistic doctor who can conduct a comprehensive thyroid test panel, including an evaluation of free T3 and free T4 (the primary thyroid hormones) and tests for thyroid antibodies.

Interpreting Test Results: Redefining "Normal" Range

If the results indicate low levels of free T3 and/or free T4, it confirms the presence of low thyroid activity. However, interpreting the results can be challenging since many patients fall within the lower end of the "normal" range for these hormones. While traditional doctors may consider these levels acceptable, Dr. Stengler believes that the standard for "normal" is set too low. By aiming to optimize hormone levels closer to the mid-range, such as free T3 levels around 320 pg/dL or higher and free T4 levels of 1.2 ng/dL or higher, patients report significant improvements in their well-being.

Understanding T4 to T3 Conversion

It is essential to note whether an individual has a normal free T4 level combined with a low or low-normal free T3 level. This distinction is crucial because the body should effectively convert T4 to T3. 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. These nuances of test results play a significant role in the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of low thyroid activity, which is often underdiagnosed in the general population.

Exploring Hormone Replacement Therapy

Conventional physicians typically prescribe synthetic T4 alone for individuals with hypothyroidism, as it has been extensively marketed. However, Dr. Stengler has found that relying solely on synthetic T4 does not yield optimal results, especially for individuals who struggle with T4 to T3 conversion. Instead, Dr. Stengler advocates for natural, bioidentical thyroid hormone replacement therapy, such as Armour Thyroid, Nature-Thyroid, or Westhroid, which are derived from desiccated pig thyroid. These bioidentical options provide both T3 and T4, mimicking the body's natural hormones. Compounded bioidentical T4 and T3, which does not have an animal source, is another viable alternative.

A Holistic Approach: Nutritional Support for Thyroid Health

In addition to hormone replacement therapy, nutritional support plays a crucial role in optimizing thyroid function. Dr. Stengler recommends specific nutrients to help the body produce more of its own thyroid hormones safely. 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 essential, as it provides various nutrients such as selenium, zinc, and B vitamins that facilitate the conversion of T4 to T3.

  • Iodine: An essential element for the synthesis of T4 and T3, iodine intake is crucial. A daily dosage of at least 150 micrograms (mcg) is recommended. However, individuals with Hashimoto's thyroiditis should exercise caution and consult with a physician before initiating iodine therapy. Higher doses may be beneficial, but proper guidance from a nutrition-oriented physician is vital.

Dr. Stengler's Commitment to Thyroid Health

At Dr. Stengler's practice in La Mesa, California, he specializes in diagnosing and treating low thyroid activity using an integrative approach. By combining his extensive knowledge of conventional and complementary medicine, Dr. Stengler provides personalized care to optimize thyroid function and overall well-being. To learn more about Dr. Stengler's practice and the services offered, please visit the website at or contact the clinic directly at (760) 274-2377.

Take Control of Your Thyroid Health Today

If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of low thyroid activity or have already been diagnosed, it is essential to seek comprehensive care that considers all aspects of your health. Dr. Stengler and his team are committed to helping patients regain balance, vitality, and optimal thyroid function. Don't let low thyroid activity go undiagnosed or undertreated. Take the first step toward a healthier thyroid and a better quality of life by reaching out to Dr. Stengler's clinic today.

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