Your immune system defends your body against attack from viruses, harmful bacteria, pathogens, and diseases that you come in contact with. But this complex system of defense can be compromised or imbalanced by many lifestyle factors, including food allergies, toxins, sudden illness, viruses, and hormonal imbalance.
Autoimmune disorders cause havoc with your health since your immune system is malfunctioning, attacking and damaging its own healthy tissues instead of the harmful invaders it’s meant to attack. Dealing with this kind of illness can be challenging as your body’s defense systems are working against it. If left untreated, serious medical issues may occur and even organ damage.
There are hundreds of autoimmune illnesses, each of which have their own unique symptoms
Symptoms of Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases:
- fluctuations in weight
- difficulty sleeping
Celiac Disease manifests itself through:
- digestive problems
- neurological issues
- sudden loss of control of bowel movements.
Those suffering from Osteoporosis will often experience:
- bone fractures
- loss of height
Dr. Gagnon is aware of the most advanced natural methods to diagnose and treat many autoimmune illnesses through an in-depth program to rebalance your immune system and get your body back on track. Following a blood test and a detailed discussion of your symptoms and history, she can help diagnose your autoimmune disease and then map out an effective treatment plan, that can be executed together with support and guidance.
Healing autoimmune illness is a special blend of changes to your diet, stress levels, and incorporating natural medicines, lifestyle adjustments and compounded bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, to restore and retrain your immune system, so that you can experience vibrant health again.
Many perimenopausal and menopausal women suffer from Hashimotos Thyroiditis. This is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck. It regulates your metabolism, affecting your weight and the metabolism of your other glands.
The primary building block of your thyroid hormones is tyrosine. By adding iodine molecules to tyrosine, you change the name and function of your thyroid hormone. For example, T4-Thyroxine has 4 iodine molecules and is less active and T3-Triiodothyronine has 3 iodine molecules and is more active. Unfortunately, thyroid issues are becoming more common. Many of my patients are told their thyroid is “fine”, but their symptoms indicate otherwise. An estimated 12 percent of the population will have some form of thyroid disease in their lifetime. Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism occurs when thyroid hormone production decreases, when conversion of Free T4 to Free T3 decreases, and when cell-receptor sensitivity for Free T4/Free T3 decreases.
Many of my patients experience one or more of the following hypothyroid symptoms:
- Hair that is thin, dull, and dry
- Hair loss (scalp, outer third of eyebrows)
- Orbital edema (puffy around the eyes)
- Swelling at the front base of the neck (goiter)
- Low body temperature/cold hands and feet
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Skin that is dry and coarse
- Weight gain (all over)
- Muscle and joint pain
- Heavy and irregular menstrual periods
- Decreased memory and concentration.
Although doctors pay attention to the physical signs that patients present with, their symptoms may not be immediately evident. “I do not guess at symptoms; I test.” Evaluating the thyroid is based on more than just one lab value, usually TSH-Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. I utilize a complete thyroid panel, looking at multiple thyroid hormones: TSH, Total T3, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, plus TPO (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies) and TBG (Thyroid Binding Globulin). I believe that evaluating the thyroid should include visual signs, symptoms, health history, and a full lab panel to rule out subclinical and clinical thyroid disorders, particularly in perimenopausal and menopausal women.
Hypothyroidism can also be due to other hormonal imbalances. T3 is the most active thyroid hormone. High cortisol (from the adrenals) due to stress, high estrogen (see-estrogen dominance), and poor liver function prevent the conversion of Free T4 to Free T3. Thus, leading to a decrease in your Free T3 and the hypothyroid symptoms above.
If you have been experiencing symptoms that may be connected with autoimmune diseases and are looking for answers, Apply for a FREE Discovery consultation.