Functional Thyroid Doctor
Thyroid issues are overdiagnosed and overtreated. In fact, even many functional medicine doctors get things wrong when it comes to hypothyroidism. Research has shown that approximately 37% of patients taking medication for hypothyroidism don’t actually need it.
Beyond the problem of overmedication, gut health imbalances are often the root cause of thyroid problems or symptoms attributed to the thyroid— and most people don’t consider them. It’s important to understand the gut-thyroid connection, and focus on identifying and healing the underlying issues that might be contributing to your symptoms.
Our team at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine knows how to properly interpret test results, use medication only when necessary, and find & treat the true underlying cause of your symptoms. We are here to help you restore your thyroid health and gut health and get better results, at a minimal cost, and with less reliance on medication.Get a Second Opinion
The Thyroid -
When you receive a thyroid diagnosis, healthcare practitioners tend to exclusively focus on thyroid treatments (such as medications), without looking into underlying issues that may be contributing to the problem. While thyroid medication can be helpful for improving your thyroid hormone levels, it doesn’t always result in symptom relief. The missing piece? Often, it’s the gut.
Research supports using a gut-focused approach to treating thyroid patients. Gut-directed therapies can not only improve your thyroid symptoms, they can reduce thyroid inflammation, reduce thyroid antibodies, and potentially reduce your need for thyroid medication.
The Overtreatment of Thyroid Issues
For those with true hypothyroidism, medication is necessary (alongside other strategies to address underlying causes). But every week in our clinic, we see patients who have been erroneously prescribed thyroid medication when they aren’t actually hypothyroid.
Research has shown that a substantial percentage of patients taking medication for low thyroid levels don’t actually need it.
Many practitioners continue to prescribe thyroid medication based on lab findings of subclinical hypothyroidism (not true hypothyroidism), even though research continues to demonstrate that those patients are unlikely to benefit from the treatment. This means patients are missing out on finding the real root cause of their symptoms and feeling better.
At our clinic, we treat patients based on an up-to-date understanding of the research and clinical standards when it comes to your thyroid.
Our clinical team is also dedicated to ongoing research on thyroid health, helping to dispel myths and develop a detailed, effective treatment algorithm.
Thyroid Concerns Addressed
Below are some of the common thyroid issues we work with at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine.
- Autoimmune thyroid disease (including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease)
- Subclinical hypothyroidism
If you are experiencing symptoms, a simple thyroid panel can determine the problem with your thyroid. This will also help determine the most appropriate next steps of treatment for restoring your health.
Common Symptoms of an Unhealthy Thyroid & Gut
Symptoms like fatigue and brain fog are not unique to hypothyroidism and other thyroid issues. They can also be symptoms of gut health conditions. These overlapping symptoms can include:
- Brain fog
- Slowed metabolism
- Nutrient deficiency
- Female hormone imbalances
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Joint Pain
- Plus many more uncomfortable symptoms
The Gut Affects Everything
Gut health and healthy digestion are arguably the foundations of good overall health. Research increasingly points to important connections between your gut health and the health of your brain, your heart, your immune system, your hormonal balance, and more.
Symptoms like bloating, constipation, heartburn, or conditions like IBS, SIBO, and colitis, are clear signs that something is amiss with your gut. But eventually what many people find out is that a whole slew of other issues, from fatigue and brain fog to joint pain and hypothyroidism, can also be caused by an underlying gut imbalance.
Your digestive tract impacts your entire body. When things in your gut are off-balance, it can create inflammation, immune system dysregulation, autoimmunity, and negatively impact your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Gut Treatments Can Improve Your Thyroid Health
If you are taking thyroid medication and still have thyroid-like symptoms, improving your gut health can make a big difference. Improving gut health might also help those who have thyroid-like symptoms but test negative for a thyroid condition.
Below are some of the most effective treatment options for improving your thyroid and gut health:
- Following a whole foods, anti-inflammatory diet (a Paleo-like diet is a great anti-inflammatory diet template that works well for most thyroid patients, as well as avoiding processed foods)
- Triple Probiotic Therapy, a therapeutic, multi-category approach that we developed in the clinic through years of trial and error with prescribing probiotics
We recommend starting your thyroid and gut healing journey with a 3-4 week trial that combines an anti-inflammatory diet and Triple Probiotic Therapy. Any level of symptom improvement during this trial period is an indication that your gut health is improving.
Other patients might need to take additional steps, such as:
- Taking HCL supplements for low stomach acid
- Taking digestive enzymes
- Taking nutrients to heal the intestinal lining
- Taking supplements like vitamin D and selenium
- Diagnosis and treatment for gut infections such as SIBO, H. pylori, and Blastocystis hominis
Our clinic can help you navigate more advanced steps of gut and thyroid treatment.
Our Goal is to Help You
Our team at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine is here to help you in three key ways:
- Get Healthy: You will get better. Our number one goal is to create a plan that will be effective in resolving your chief complaints.
- Be Efficient: We place an emphasis on results with minimal cost and less reliance on medication. With our effective processes and protocols, we will help you achieve health without the overuse and over-prescription of unnecessary supplements and lab tests. One of our missions is to debunk fad diets and recommendations and stick to the science of what works, saving you time and money.
- Feel Empowered: We want you to feel empowered, confident, happy, and healthy (instead of worried and fearful).
What To Expect During Your Appointments
Our team of practitioners at Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine will develop a personalized protocol to take your thyroid and gut health to the next level.
During your initial consultation, you’ll connect with one of our highly trained intake specialists to review your case and individual circumstances in preparation for your doctor visits. Our team will focus on the key pieces of information that our doctors use to make decisions: your history, symptoms, labs, and response to previous treatments.
Follow-Up Appointments & Treatment
We will apply our proven and effective Thyroid and Gut Health Model to come up with a personalized care plan. Your functional medicine doctor will thoroughly discuss your care plan with you, answering any questions you might have about our approach.
We’ve spent decades learning from both our patients and scientific research, and we have the experience to understand which treatments make a difference, and which do not. Let us guide you through the practical steps that help to improve your thyroid and gut health.
Thyroid Health Experts: Frequently Asked Questions
The first step to improving thyroid health is to get a thyroid panel. This will help determine whether or not you have a thyroid condition, and whether you will need to take medication. If you’re taking medication but still not feeling well, or if your condition does not require medication, consider other possible causes such as gut health imbalances. By using simple gut health therapies such as diet and balancing your gut microbiome, you can improve the health of both your gut and thyroid.
Improving your gut health is one of the most effective things you can do to improve your overall health because your gut affects every other part of your body.
Working with an experienced functional medicine practitioner can help you through this process. Our team of medical experts at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine will help you develop a personalized protocol to take your thyroid and gut health to the next level.
A thyroid panel is simply a collection of thyroid blood tests. Your doctor might order a thyroid blood test panel if they suspect a problem with your thyroid or they want to help monitor your thyroid medication. Symptoms are not always reliable predictors of a thyroid problem, which is why a thyroid panel can help. These tests are affordable, accessible, and accurate.
If you’re experiencing common thyroid-related symptoms such as weight gain, weight loss, hair loss, heart rate changes, or mood imbalances, a thyroid panel can help you determine whether there’s something going on with your thyroid. A thyroid panel can also help you monitor your response to your thyroid treatment or adjust your thyroid medication.
There are several examples showing the thyroid and gut are linked, such as:
- Children with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis were found to have more markers of leaky gut when compared to controls.
- Up to 40% of Hashimoto’s patients were found to have chronic low stomach acid.
- SIBO patients were more likely to have impaired thyroid function than healthy controls.
On the surface, gut health refers to the health of your digestive system, including the balance of bacteria living in your gut microbiome, the integrity of your intestinal lining, the presence of inflammation, and more.
But gut health also plays a crucial role in your overall health. Research points to several important connections between the gut and virtually all other organs and systems, from the thyroid to the brain to the heart to the immune system. That’s why an imbalance, infection, or other issues in your gut can (and often do) lead to seemingly unrelated symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, anxiety, hypothyroidism, and more.
Focusing on your gut health can help you to resolve these and other symptoms naturally, and get you back to living your healthiest, happiest life. At the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine, our experienced functional medicine doctors can help you start feeling better. Speak with a gut health specialist today.
We’ve found that a surprising number of symptoms and problems resolve when the gut is healed. This includes symptoms of brain fog, anxiety, food digestive issues, female hormone imbalances, and many more uncomfortable symptoms patients report experiencing. Research shows that your gut has the power to influence your cognitive function, mood, energy levels, heart health, thyroid function, hormonal balance, and more. In other words, having a healthy gut means you can have a healthy life.
Transform your health
Work with our qualified team and start feeling better today.