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San Marcos, CA

Thyroid Treatment in Encinitas, CA

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Thyroid Treatment in Encinitas, CA: 

Understanding Hypothyroidism and its Management

Thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism, have become increasingly prevalent in our country. Dr. Stengler, along with many other doctors, believes that the rise in thyroid problems can be attributed to factors such as environmental toxins, pharmaceutical side effects, and stress. The thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck and shaped like a butterfly, plays a crucial role in producing hormones that regulate the metabolism of every cell in the body. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hypothyroidism, with a focus on thyroid treatment in Encinitas, CA.

The Prevalence of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, characterized by low thyroid activity, is the most common thyroid disorder. While approximately 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it is estimated that the actual number may be as high as 30 million, including undiagnosed cases. It is possible for individuals, as well as their physicians, to be unaware of an underactive thyroid.

Recognizing Symptoms

Symptoms such as fatigue, cold hands and feet, unexplained weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, and depression can often be attributed to a busy and stressful lifestyle. However, these symptoms can also indicate low thyroid activity. It is important to note that hypothyroidism can affect individuals of any age, and not just women in their late 40s or early 50s, as commonly believed.

Common Causes

The most prevalent cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and reduced hormone production. Hypothyroidism is more common in women, with a five to ten times higher incidence compared to men. While genetic predisposition plays a role, other factors such as hormonal imbalances (such as insulin resistance in diabetes), food allergies (e.g., gluten intolerance), and stress can also contribute. In rare cases, pituitary gland failure or the presence of a pituitary tumor may cause hypothyroidism.

Diagnostic Challenges

Many doctors, including both conventional and holistic practitioners, often fail to accurately diagnose hypothyroidism. Typically, they rely on a single blood test, known as the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, which provides a general indication of thyroid activity but overlooks the nuances of thyroid function. To ensure an accurate assessment, it is recommended to consult a holistic physician who can conduct a complete thyroid test panel, including measurements of free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies.

Interpreting Test Results

While some physicians consider low levels of free T3 and free T4 within the "normal" range as acceptable, Dr. Stengler believes that the standard for "normal" is set too low. Patients often experience improved well-being when their T3 levels are closer to the mid-range, around 320 pg/dL or higher, and when their free T4 levels are increased to 1.2 ng/dL or higher.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Conventional doctors typically prescribe synthetic T4 alone, such as Synthroid, Levoxyl, or Levothroid, for hypothyroidism. However, Dr. Stengler recommends natural, bioidentical thyroid hormone replacement therapy options, including Armour Thyroid, Nature-Thyroid, and Westhroid, which are derived from desiccated pig thyroid. These options provide a combination of T3 and T4 hormones that closely resemble the body's natural production. Another alternative is compounded bioidentical T4 and T3, which does not have an animal source. Side effects from these treatments are uncommon.

Nutritional Support

In addition to hormone replacement therapy, Dr. Stengler emphasizes the importance of nutritional support to enhance the body's own production of thyroid hormones. Several nutrients have been found to be beneficial, including L-tyrosine, a foundational amino acid for thyroid hormone synthesis, which can be taken in a 500 mg dose before breakfast. A multivitamin containing selenium, zinc, and B vitamins is also recommended to support the conversion of T4 to T3. Iodine, an essential element for T4 and T3 production, should be consumed at a minimum daily dose of 150 micrograms (mcg). However, individuals with Hashimoto's thyroiditis should seek guidance from a nutrition-oriented physician before starting iodine therapy.

Improve Your Wellness 

Dr. Stengler's practice in Encinitas, CA, offers comprehensive thyroid treatment for individuals experiencing hypothyroidism. By understanding the causes, recognizing symptoms, and seeking proper diagnosis, patients can receive appropriate care. Dr. Stengler advocates for a holistic approach to thyroid treatment, including natural hormone replacement therapy and nutritional support. For further information about Dr. Stengler's practice and the available treatment options, please visit our website at or contact us at (760) 274-2377.

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