MASTER KEYS TO WELLNESS: THE THYROID GLAND: Proper treatment of this organ is critical to living a well-balanced life

By Varsha Rathod, MD


In the last two editions of my quarterly Newsletter (which can be found on my website at www.preventivemedicinestl.com), I discussed how the adrenal glands produce hormones and neurotransmitters that help us respond and adapt to stress.  The adrenal glands can be thought of as a “conductor” of our hormonal symphony, regulating most other hormones to create a happy, healthy, and “well-orchestrated” person, functioning at her/his personal best. This article will focus on the critical role that the thyroid gland plays in our quest for health and happiness.

The thyroid and adrenal glands form the pedestal upon which our metabolism, energy formation, and communication with other cells rest.  It can be said:  if someone has good thyroid, adrenal, and gut function – such a person is more than likely to be healthy.

A disturbance in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland can occur for several reasons including a deficiency of raw materials, especially: amino acids, iodine, selenium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D.

Hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism and is associated with fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, vision changes, gum inflammation, constipation, joint and muscle pains, hives, heavy menses, and depression.  It can be caused by insufficient nutrients needed to build thyroid hormone or due to an auto-immune attack similar to lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis.

My approach to treatment starts with a careful assessment of thyroid imbalances.  The examination includes a thorough accounting of symptoms as well as testing TSH, free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies.  There are many factors to consider when diagnosing hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid).  Following an “In-depth” assessment of your results, I will be able to craft a customized treatment plan to balance your Thyroid.  Functional Medicine doctors are trained to identify and treat imbalances in the body’s major systems to prevent disease.

“My migraines would be so extreme that they would affect my ability to be productive at work and prevent me from extra-curricular activities.  My OBGYN prescribed prescription medication, but the side effects were not pleasant.  Dr. Rathod suspected hormone imbalances which were confirmed by lab testing.  Following my Health Plan to balance my thyroid, has changed my life.  I have a ton of energy and I am more productive at work.  I have energy for extra-curricular activities and my mood has improved.  I actually feel my age or much younger!  Thank you Dr. Rathod”

Dr. Varsha Rathod is a board certified Rheumatologist and Internist at Preventive Medicine in the Westport Plaza Area of St. Louis, MO. The practice has focused on a combination of traditional and holistic medicine since 1967. For more articles and information about integrative solutions please visit www.preventivemedicinestl.com  or call Preventive Medicine at 314-997-5403.

The information presented in this publication is for general educational purposes only. It is not intended to be used for the diagnoses of any illness.  It should not serve as a substitute for being evaluated by a certified healthcare provider.  If you suffer from any of these conditions you should consult a physician or an appropriate health care provider.