top of page

Silent Hypothyroidism Unmasked: How Naturopathic Doctors Empower Healing and Hormonal Harmony!

Updated: May 4


A Doctor examining Thyroid
Silent Hypothyroidism Naturopathic Treatment

Naturopathic approach to Silent Hypothyroidism.


The naturopathic approach to Hypothyroidism involves a holistic and integrative approach to support thyroid function and overall well-being.


Silent Hypothyroidism, also known as subclinical Hypothyroidism, is a condition characterized by mild or borderline thyroid hormone deficiency without noticeable symptoms. However, some individuals may experience subtle signs that can be easily overlooked or attributed to other factors.

Fatigue and low Energy are one of the most common symptoms reported in Silent Hypothyroidism. They may have a constant feeling of low energy and feeling tired despite getting adequate sleep and the struggle to sustain energy levels throughout the day does never end. This fatigue is often explained as a general sense of exhaustion that is not relieved by rest or sleep.


Silent Hypothyroidism may affect your mood and cognitive function. your mood Changes and you feel some cognitive difficulties. You may experience fluctuating symptoms such as irritability, difficulty concentrating, depression, or memory issues. These changes in mood and cognition can impact daily functioning, work productivity, and overall quality of life.


Among all signs and symptoms one thing that you may notice happening slowly is mild weight gain and fluid retention: Although weight gain is not as obvious as in overt Hypothyroidism, some people suffering from Silent Hypothyroidism may experience mild weight gain and as a result difficulty losing weight. This weight gain is often attributed to a slower metabolic rate associated with reduced thyroid hormone levels. Furthermore, fluid retention in the face and lower and upper extremities, may be noticed which seems not be water solely.


What are the causes of Silent Hypothyroidism?


There are many causes for Silent Hypothyroidism, and it may happen due to several factors. The most common cause is autoimmune thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Other causes include previous treatment for hyperthyroidism, history of neck radiation for treating other diseases, certain medications (such as lithium), Iodine deficiency due to low intake or living in geographic areas that soil has low Iodine, pituitary gland dysfunction or hypothalamus dysregulation due to many reasons.


How to diagnose a Silent Hypothyroidism?


Silent Hypothyroidism is typically diagnosed through your screening blood tests that measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. It is diagnosed when blood tests reveal a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) above normal range of 4-5 mIU/L, while the thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are reported in normal range. It is defined as "Silent" because patients do not show the typical signs and symptoms of overt Hypothyroidism. Then you may need additional tests, such as thyroid antibody tests, to determine the root causes.


The condition of Silent (subtle) Hypothyroidism is relatively common, with research suggesting that 3-15% of the general population may have Silent Hypothyroidism, with higher incidence in women and elderly individual.


Why is Silent Hypothyroidism challenging?


The challenge with Silent Hypothyroidism is the “Lack of Symptoms”. Unlike overt Hypothyroidism, Silent Hypothyroidism often does not present with overt symptoms that people can readily notice. Some individuals may experience subtle symptoms such as fluctuating fatigue that some days are more than the others but persists, mild weight gain that you cannot lose, dry skin that you feel you need to use moisturizer more frequent during a day, or constipation that you attribute it to getting busy. So these under radar symptoms but can be easily attributed to lots of other factors or dismissed as a normal part of daily life.


Is there any potential health risk for Silent Hypothyroidism?


The potential risks for Silent Hypothyroidism if being untreated is not an immediate life-threatening event, however, it is not without risks. Studies have shown that individuals with Silent Hypothyroidism may have an increased risk of developing overt Hypothyroidism in the future, affecting their cardiovascular system and in particular level of cholesterol. Moreover, certain population groups, such as pregnant women and the elderly, may be more susceptible to adverse effects if left untreated.


What are the treatment options for Silent Hypothyroidism?


Deciding whether to treat Silent Hypothyroidism by pharmaceuticals depends on the individual's risk factors, age, and overall health. In some cases, especially if the TSH levels are mildly elevated and the person is asymptomatic, the condition may be monitored without immediate pharmaceutical intervention. However, treatment with thyroid hormone (either synthetic or natural sources) may be recommended if the individual is pregnant, planning pregnancy, has underlying heart disease, or shows overt symptoms of Hypothyroidism. During this period of waiting and monitoring towards progression or regression from overt Hypothyroidism, a holistic and integrative approach to support thyroid function and overall well-being is priceless.


How to monitor and how often to do the follow up for a Silent Hypothyroidism?


To monitor and follow-up when you diagnosed with Silent Hypothyroidism, you may require assessing thyroid function by regular blood test. Follow-up blood tests are usually recommended based on your condition to track TSH levels and if needed other parameters to evaluate any changes. Monitoring is particularly important for those with risk factors or symptoms that may indicate progression to overt Hypothyroidism.


It is crucial to note that the symptoms of Silent Hypothyroidism as the name implies, might be subtle and nonspecific, making diagnosis challenging. Many individuals may not associate these symptoms with a thyroid issue, leading to delayed detection and treatment. If you suspect you may have Silent Hypothyroidism or are experiencing any persistent, unexplained symptoms, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare professional for your diagnosis and your next steps to take.


How can naturopathy help you with Silent Hypothyroidism?


The naturopathic approach to Hypothyroidism involves a holistic and integrative approach to support thyroid function and overall well-being which encompass an Individualized Treatment and Monitoring plan. Naturopathic doctors take a personalized approach to Hypothyroidism, considering each patient's unique circumstances and health history. They conduct a thorough assessment, including comprehensive lab testing, to evaluate thyroid function and identify underlying imbalances. Treatment plans are tailored to address specific deficiencies, excesses or dysfunctions. Regular monitoring is essential to assess progress and adjust treatment as needed.


There are key principles and strategies in regard to naturopathic approach to Hypothyroidism:


Lifestyle modification:


The first and most important step a naturopath recommend you and work with you to achieve is a ‘Lifestyle Optimization. Lifestyle optimization plays a crucial role in improving hypothyroidism and supporting overall thyroid health. Making positive lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on thyroid function, symptom management, and overall well-being. When we talk about lifestyle, we have a global perspective including “Regular Exercise”, “Diet Optimization”, “Stress alleviation techniques”, “Sleep Hygiene and Sleep Optimization”, and “promoting a Healthy Relationship” between you and the atmosphere around you, from air you breath to people you live with. This is a life changing strategy to live healthier that takes time and effort, and the reward is the invaluable wellbeing in addition to healthier thyroid.


The lifestyle changes that help with your thyroid function in addition to your overall wellbeing include adding physical activities such as aerobic activities and strength training, which helps boost metabolism, promote weight management, and alleviate fatigue often associated with hypothyroidism. A nutrient-rich diet, focusing on whole foods and thyroid focused nutrients like selenium and iodine, supports optimal thyroid function and reduces inflammation. Stress reduction techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, and adequate sleep, help regulate the stress response and support hormonal balance. Lifestyle optimization empowers individuals to take an active role in managing their hypothyroidism, leading to improved quality of life and better overall health outcomes.


Healthy Diet Optimization:


When it comes to healthy diet and nutritional support, it is crucial to understand that a healthy diet, functional diet and nutritional support has a critical role in your overall wellbeing. Naturopathic practitioners emphasize the importance of a healthy diet in supporting thyroid function. They may recommend a diet rich in whole food, nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Certain foods, such as sea vegetables (e.g., seaweed), which are naturally high in iodine, may help support thyroid hormone production. Additionally, naturopathic doctors with their special access to functional lab tests may assess for nutrient deficiencies commonly associated with Hypothyroidism, such as selenium, zinc, and vitamin D, and provide targeted supplementation if necessary. You need to keep in mind that this is not an order for you to purchase these minerals by your own and start taking them. Self-medication and the overload side-effects of supplements on many different organs are one of the most important health related challenges people are facing nowadays that they have readily accessible supplements. Our all time recommendation is consult with your healthcare provider of your choice before even purchasing the supplements. If you have already many of them in your cabinet, take them with you to your naturopath for a supplement consultation.


Stress Management:


Chronic stress can negatively impact thyroid function. Chronic stress can disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, leading to imbalances in thyroid hormone production and metabolism. Stress management plays a significant role in improving hypothyroidism by positively impacting the body's hormonal balance and reducing the burden on the thyroid gland. By practicing stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and engaging in activities that promote relaxation such as yoga, individuals can help regulate the stress response and promote a more balanced hormonal environment. This, in turn, supports thyroid function, reduces inflammation, and improves overall well-being in individuals with hypothyroidism. Naturopathic practitioners emphasize on stress management and practice with you to reduce the impact of stress on your overall health. Incorporating stress management practices into daily life can be a valuable addition to conventional treatment approaches and contribute to better management and improvement of hypothyroidism symptoms.


Sleep Hygiene and Thyroid health


Adequate and restful sleep is essential for optimal thyroid hormone production, release, and utilization. Sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality leads to disruptions in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, resulting in imbalances in thyroid hormone levels. On the other hand, improving sleep quality has a positive effect on hypothyroidism by supporting thyroid function, hormone regulation, and overall metabolic health. Practice of naturopathy include sleep improvement by prioritizing and implementing healthy sleep habits, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a favourable sleep environment, and practicing relaxation techniques before bed. We as naturopathic doctors believe that patients with Silent Hypothyroidism can support their body's natural healing processes and improve overall thyroid function. Worth to mention that improved sleep can help alleviate fatigue, promote better energy levels, and enhance overall well-being in Subtle Hypothyroidism.


How can herbal medicine and supplements help with Silent Hypothyroidism?


Herbal Medicine and Supplements are two effective modalities in practicing naturopathy. Naturopathic doctors may recommend specific herbal medicines and supplements to support thyroid function. For a brief example, adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and Rhodiola are believed to help regulate the stress response and support adrenal health, which can indirectly impact thyroid function. Additionally, certain supplements like L-tyrosine, iodine, and selenium may be prescribed to support thyroid hormone production and conversion. Again, this article is only a preliminary informative text and is not an order to self-prescribe herbal remedies or supplements. This article is not a substitute for a healthcare professional consultation and recommendation.


Detoxification and Environmental Considerations:


Naturopathic practitioners may evaluate potential environmental triggers that could have impact on thyroid function. They may explore your exposure to toxins and pollutants commonly found in your home, your environment, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals in addition to end products of unhealthy food you eat that accumulate in your body and act as a toxin . Strategies to minimize exposure and support detoxification pathways in the body, such as through targeted dietary interventions and the use of supportive nutrients, may be an important step to take that your naturopathic doctor may recommend.


It's important to note that while the naturopathic approach to Hypothyroidism is not a substitute for your conventional medical care. It is crucial to consult with both a naturopathic doctor and a primary care physician or endocrinologist to ensure comprehensive and coordinated care. Collaboration between healthcare providers can help optimize outcomes and ensure safe and effective treatment.


What will happen when you come for a visit?


The first visit that we call history taking can be in-person or virtual (phone or video). During 60-90 minutes which is only conversational, we go over your health history while focusing on your main concerns to get a holistic understanding of your condition. In the second visit which is 30-40 minutes in-person visit we do a complete whole body physical examination. Either in first visit or in the second visit we will provide a lab requisition to you. In your third visit which is usually few days after receiving your lab result we review the result of lab exam with you and setup a treatment plan for you.


The lab exam and blood draw are done by a lab technician in a lifelabs center of your choice.


To book your initial appointment you can call at 416-249-4567 or send an email to info@drmanesh.ca or book online athttps://app.outsmartemr.com/online-booking/3252/a3y8k2.


* Disclaimer: The information in this article is property of Dr. Masoumeh Shayesteh Manesh, Naturopathic Doctor and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases or promote any products or services mentioned on this website.

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page