Thyroid Disorders

There are over 20 types of thyroid conditions that Dr. Soszka diagnoses and treats

Dr. Soszka is a recognized expert in functional thyroid care. He has helped many patients resolve their thyroid conditions. Dr Soszka is the author of the best selling book, The Thyroid Fix. Because of his extensive experience, he recognizes and treats 24 different types of thyroid disorders. Many of these disorders other practitioners don’t how to diagnose. Dr. Soszka keeps up to date with the latest thyroid research. He is an active member of the Endocrinology Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

  • Subclinical Hypothyroidism
  • Pituitary/Hypothalamus Dysfunction (Secondary Hypothyroidism)
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Hyperthyroidism (Grave’s Disease)
  • T4/T3 Conversion Disorder
  • Wilson Temperature Syndrome
  • and Many more

Learn more about Dr. Soszka’s diagnostic and treatment approach by clicking on the sections below. Finding the underlying cause of thyroid problems can be challenging. Comprehensive thyroid testing and other important tests reveal what’s happening with your thyroid. With proper testing you can find the root cause of your thyroid condition. Using individualized treatment, you can improve your thyroid health rapidly.

Comprehensive Thyroid Testing

Most conventional practitioners diagnose and treat thyroid conditions by a single lab test. TSH, while useful, doesn’t provide the whole story. It’s like trying to find out what’s wrong with your car by only checking the oil. 
 
TSH is made in the brain and only tells you the production demand on the thyroid. It tells you nothing about where in the thyroid process there is a problem. Even worse, most practitioners use TSH lab ranges that are out of date!
 
Thyroid disorders are complex and need comprehensive thyroid testing to discover the problem. This more complete testing looks at every step in the thyroid production process. Here are the blood tests that should be ordered to find out what’s wrong.
 

Comprehensive Thyroid Panel

TSH
Total and Free T4
Total and Free T3
Reverse T3
T3 Uptake or Thyroid Binding Globulin
Thyroid Antibodies (TPO antibodies, Thyroglobulin antibodies)
 

Other Useful/Relevant Labs

Thyroglobulin
Vitamin D
Vitamin A
Selenium, RBC
Iodine, Urine
 

Understanding the Comprehensive Thyroid Panel

TSH
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) controls the production of thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland. The pituitary produces TSH in response to the body’s need for thyroid hormone. There are health conditions that reduced the accuracy of TSH testing, creating a false picture of the thyroid.
 
Thyroxine (T4)
T4 is the main form of thyroid hormone produced in the thyroid. T4 is inactive and does not have a significant effect on metabolism or energy production. T4 is so named because it contains 4 molecules of iodine attached to a protein. It becomes biologically active when it loses a molecule of iodine and become T3. We measure T4 as both Total T4 and Free (or unbound) T4.
 
Triiodothyronine (T3)
Made from T4, this hormone controls metabolism and energy production within the cells. T3 affects every cell in the body except red blood cells. It is a deficiency of T3 that is the source of most thyroid problems. A lack of T3 can be devastating to the body. The conversion from T4 to T3 takes place outside of the thyroid, primarily in the liver, kidneys, and the intestines. Problems in any of these tissues can slow the conversion process. Testing the T3 level is essential for understanding the thyroid status. We measure T3 as both Total and Free T3.
 
Reverse T3 (rT3)
Reverse T3 is also a product of T4 hormone but has the opposite effect on the metabolism. It is a normal part of the thyroid hormone conversion process but when in excess it can cause many problems. Increased stress or inflammation can lead to increased rT3 and reduced T3. The end result is poor energy production and slowed metabolism.
 
T3 Uptake
This helpful lab measures the ability to transport thyroid hormone in the blood. Thyroid hormone must be chaperoned by thyroid binding globulin (a carrier protein) to its destination. Otherwise, free-floating thyroid hormone will attach to nearby tissues causing cellular hyperactivity. T3 uptake indicates how many spaces on the carrier protein are available to carry thyroid hormone.
 
Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG)
TBG is a direct measurement of the thyroid hormone carrier protein. Some medications can reduce the availability of TBG creating medication-induced hypothyroidism. Likewise, if estrogen is too high, it can attach to all the binding sites on the TBG. In both scenarios, not enough thyroid hormone is delivered to the cells.
 
Thyroid Antibodies
Thyroid antibodies are created when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. The autoimmune process is usually a case of mistaken identity or a hidden infection in the thyroid gland. 95% of hypothyroidism is due to autoimmune destruction of the thyroid. This condition is named Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Two antibodies most important for diagnosing autoimmune hypothyroidism are TPO and Thyroglobulin antibodies.
 
Using this functional approach to testing we get answers to several important questions:
  • Is the thyroid gland damaged? If so, why? The most common cause is an autoimmune condition in which our immune system attacks the thyroid.
  • If the thyroid gland is not damaged, we must look for nutritional deficiencies. Many vitamins and minerals help make thyroid hormone.
  • Is there a T4 to T3 conversion issue? If so, where and why? Liver problems or selenium deficiency are the most common causes.
  • Less common, cells in the body can become desensitized to thyroid hormone. Likewise, cellular deficiencies, such as vitamin A, can prevent T3 from producing energy.

Thyroid Treatment

Symptoms of Low Thyroid Function

Before we discuss thyroid treatment, we should review the most common symptoms of low thyroid function. The most common symptom is fatigue as a result of poor energy production in the cells. Most other symptoms are a result slowed metabolism and the cells being unable to complete their basic tasks. Symptoms include hair thinning, constipation, brain fog, poor memory, lack of coordination, and weight gain. Cold sensitivity is also common because the body cannot generate heat.
 

Thyroid Treatment

 
There are many ways to support thyroid function. As mentioned in the testing section above, determining the cause of the thyroid problem is essential. Through comprehensive thyroid testing, we can determine why your thyroid is having problems. We can then design a customized treatment plan to address your specific issues. This laser-like approach leads to fast and lasting results.
 
There are many possible causes of thyroid dysfunction. This can include everything from thyroid tissue destruction to thyroid hormone conversion problems. Each thyroid condition has a different treatment approach. Let’s look at some of the ways to treat thyroid disorders from a functional medicine perspective.
 

Hypothyroidism

The thyroid’s inability to produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the body needs is defined as hypothyroidism. There are several possible causes of diminished production. Thyroid tissue destruction can occur in autoimmune thyroid diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. This is the most common cause in the modern world. Additionally, nutritional deficiencies including iodine, selenium, and magnesium can slow thyroid production. Less common, but still a factor for some.
 
A lack of the signaling hormone, TSH, from the brain can also reduce thyroid production. Thyroid medication can be helpful to restore thyroid hormone to normal levels. Even so, treating the underlying cause is key to returning the thyroid to normal production.
 

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

In Hashimoto’s disease, it is important to treat both the autoimmune process and the lack of thyroid hormone. Most practitioners only give thyroid medication. While important for normal body functioning, this does nothing to address the autoimmunity. Using supplements such as turmeric, inositol, selenium, and glutathione help reduce thyroid antibodies. Additionally, many experience benefit using Low-dose Naltrexone.
 

THYROID HORMONE CONVERSION SYNDROME:

The conversion of thyroid hormone T4 to T3 takes place primarily in the liver, kidneys, and intestines. Most of this conversion takes place in the liver. Inflammation, high stress, and adrenal fatigue syndrome can slow the conversion process. This leads to reduced T3 levels along with all the symptoms of low thyroid function. Likewise, digestive problems including infections can impair conversion in the intestines. Correcting the underlying causes of this thyroid hormone bottleneck is essential (Learn more).
 

THYROID MEDICATION

“Do I need thyroid medication” is a common question asked by new patients. This depends on the degree of hypothyroidism. Medication use can be long term - in cases of severe thyroid tissue destruction. Conversely, short-term or low dose thyroid medication can help stabilize thyroid levels. This is helpful as we work other aspects of the personalized treatment plan.
 
Levothyroxine, a T4 replacement medication, is commonly prescribed in hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, not everyone experiences relief from symptoms of low thyroid function. Many who continue to experience low thyroid symptoms while taking levothyroxine may need another option. The careful use of T3 medication, such as Cytomel can make a huge difference for those who don’t do well with T4 only medication. Likewise, those thyroid hormone conversion issues may benefit using T3 medication.
 
Ultimately, treating a thyroid condition effectively depends on correctly diagnosing the cause. Once found, there are many approaches to restoring thyroid function.

Want to learn more? Buy The Thyroid Fix Today!

The Thyroid Fix BookMy new book, The Thyroid Fix, is an easy to follow guide on how to find and treat the underlying cause of your thyroid problems. I take a close look at how to find the original cause of your thyroid problem. Hint: it’s not usually in the thyroid itself! Additionally, I cut through all the confusion about the best thyroid diet. The answers to common questions ask including “Which lab tests provide the complete thyroid picture?” and  “Are there advanced tests that help find the cause of my condition?” are reviewed in detail. Most importantly, we’ll look at the most effective supplements, medications, and herbs to help you beat back fatigue, lose weight and get your life back.

Available on Amazon.com in Kindle and Paperback formats.

 

Are you ready to find real answers to your health problems?