Exhausted, moody and forgetful? Gaining weight without changing your diet or exercise routine? Still asking your doctor: Why is it that I’m tired, but I can’t sleep?
Your thyroid gland may be producing too much or not enough hormones.
That little butterfly-shaped organ in the base of your neck regulates the hormones that control so many of your biological functions: energy, metabolism, body temperature, sleep, sexual function, digestion, as well as hair and nail growth.
Traditional doctors are often quick to attribute these exhausting symptoms to other non-thyroid related conditions. Sometimes, these well-meaning professionals become so frustrated with a patient’s slew of symptoms that they send him or her to a psychiatrist!
A functional medicine doctor, on the other hand, understands that unearthing the root causes of your suffering takes time, patience and highly specialized integrative knowledge – the kind Dr. Borenstein has been offering for over two decades.
Traditionally trained endocrinologists often give one generic thyroid test and make a determination based on what, decades ago, was labeled a “normal” range.
Rather than dictating which “normal” thyroid hormone level should fuel your functions, Dr. Borenstein wants to determine what level is optimal.
Rather than focusing on arbitrarily designated “normal” test results, he prioritizes your symptoms – for him “normal” means symptom-free.
That’s why Dr. Borenstein delves deeper, far beyond vague, general reference ranges.
This flexible holistic thyroid doctor doesn’t stop testing and treating until you feel like yourself again. If your head feels weird when you wake in the morning, if brain fog anxiety is disrupting your work day and brain fog depression, haunting your nights, come in for a consultation.
If your thyroid gland is having trouble producing the precise amount of thyroid hormone your body functions require, you may struggle with:
Many patients suffering with these symptoms panic, concerned they may have thyroid cancer – a very rare condition. If you have nodules (lumps) on your thyroid Dr. Borenstein will have them evaluated to make sure they are benign.
By far the most common root cause behind these disruptive symptoms is the thyroid gland’s over or under production of thyroid hormone.
Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid that is unable to produce the amount of thyroid hormones your body requires. It can also lead to weight gain, fatigue, feeling cold, muscle weakness, high cholesterol, joint pain or stiffness, and even depression.
Because your thyroid gland regulates your blood sugar, it directly affects yours hunger and satiety sensation. Along with insulin and leptin resistance, low thyroid hormone can make losing weight very difficult.
Don’t let your traditional doctor convince you otherwise: research has repeatedly demonstrated the link between hypothyroidism and obesity. That’s why Dr. Borenstein is so passionate about addressing your energy production, basal metabolism and other weight loss saboteurs.
Causes of hypothyroidism include:
Hyperthyroidism is the clinical term used to describe a hyperactive thyroid gland that produces more thyroid hormone than your body needs to function. It can lead to fatigue, hair loss, irritability, unexplained weight loss and excessive sweating.
Don’t let traditional doctors tell you those exhausting days and mood swings are all in your head and send you to a psychiatrist – Dr. Borenstein will tweak your thyroid, as well as other hormone and nutrient levels until you feel like the person you knew before your imbalance.
Hyperthyroidism causes include:
Left untreated, both hyper- and hypothyroidism can enlarge the thyroid gland to the point of developing a goiter. Goiters may cause your neck to swell and make swallowing difficult.
At your first appointment Dr. Borenstein will perform a thorough analysis of your symptoms, general health, genetic predispositions, medical history, lifestyle and stress levels – all which may be contributing to your symptoms. Only then will he begin diagnostic testing.
Many traditional doctors are satisfied with testing only your TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) which tells your thyroid gland to produce and release hormones into your bloodstream. However, they all have different ideas about what range of TSH is “normal”. Some will wait until your TSH is at level 10 to diagnose you with hypothyroidism – despite all your obvious low thyroid symptoms!
Not Dr. Borenstein.
He will investigate further to optimize your thyroid levels by also testing your:
This in depth testing it crucial. Why? You could have extremely low levels of T4 and T3, and well as thyroid-damaging antibodies, yet still present with a TSH level that’s considered “normal” by many endocrinologists. At Manhattan Integrative Medicine, the onus of root cause detection and symptom relief is on the provider – no matter how many tests it requires.
Helping you lose weight is a serious professional accomplishment for Dr. Borenstein. That’s why he may also need to test your levels and rebalance these hormones:
Dr. Borenstein will also determine whether you have leaky gut syndrome, and detect any gluten or dairy sensitivities. As a functional medicine doctor, he also understands how important it is to optimize levels of nutrients like: vitamin D3, B vitamins like B12, folic acid, ferritin, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and iron.
It’s also crucial to screen for viruses like Epstein-Barr virus and human herpes virus (HHV6), then test your blood for these increased antibodies:
If a viral infection is detected, Dr. Borenstein will prescribe an anti-viral protocol – usually Valtrex or Valcyte. When botanical medicine is appropriate, he will suggest anti-viral Byron White Formulas – hand-crafted targeted plants that support the immune system, detoxification and the body’s homeostatic mechanisms.
If other protocols aren’t yielding results he may test you for MTHFR - genetic defects in methylation enzymes.
Once he’s discovered the root cause(s) of your symptoms, Dr. Borenstein will walk you through one or more of the following treatments to help resolve your thyroid dysfunction:
Replacing your supply and optimizing your thyroid hormone levels is crucial. And Dr. Borenstein prefers to accomplish this in the most natural, non-invasive way possible.
Natural dessicated thyroid is the most common natural thyroid replacement treatment. It’s extracted from the dried thyroid gland of pigs. Don’t let your mainstream provider tell you it’s not regulated – this is a prescription drug regulated by the FDA.
A federally-funded study just recently demonstrated how safe and effective these replacement drugs are – when properly prescribed.
Products like Armour®, Nature-Throid®, Westhroid® or WP Thyroid® all contain natural levothyroxine – the main thyroid hormone. Tirosint® is a liquid, hypoallergenic levothyroxine supplement. They all regularly undergo rigorous quality-control testing.
Cytomel® T3 is another medication Dr. Borestein may choose to treat your specific imbalance. This direct, active, strongest and most powerful of all the thyroid medications must be used exactly as prescribed.
Slow release T3 is a time-release formula that can help prevent the hormone rollercoaster that some patients experience. Compounded sustained-release T3 can treat or prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
To compliment hormone replacement Dr. Borenstein may prescribe custom doses of:
If your thyroid gland doesn’t respond to other supplements, Dr. Borenstein may move on to Low Dose Naltrexone – which can lower thyroid antibodies to help normalize immune function. A premium compounding pharmacy will titrate your precise dose, which you will take only for as long as your body needs it.
Hundreds of our patients have treated their inflammation and leaky gut by adopting this diet, which Dr. Borenstein has investigated and successfully prescribed for years. It requires eliminating or restricting: grains; legumes (beans, soy, peanuts, hummus); dairy products, processed foods, vegetable and canola oils, eggs, nuts and seeds, chocolate and certain spices like coriander and cumin; nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes; alcoholic beverages; gum, refined sugars and alternative sweeteners; emulsifiers and food thickeners; and NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin (Bufferin), and naproxen sodium (Aleve).
Instead of the above inflammatory foods, improve your thyroid health by eating more:
Dr. Borenstein is well versed in preventing any negative interactions between the treatments listed above, as well as potential contraindications with any other medication you’re on. He will continue monitor your custom protocol, continually checking in for feedback before adjusting it.
If you’ve heard enough from doctors who cite stale thyroid testing standards, if you’re ready to work with a 20 year veteran of functional medicine who’s treated hundreds of dysfunctional thyroid glands – Dr. Borenstein is your doctor.