Integrative Thyroid Specialist

Lillian W. Leong, D.O. -  - Integrative Functional Medicine Physician

LL Integrative Life

Lillian W. Leong, D.O.

Integrative Functional Medicine Physician located in Walnut Creek, CA

An imbalance of your thyroid gland can cause problems with many factors vital to your good health. Dr. Lillian Leong is board-certified in family and integrative medicine and a functional medicine specialist at Integrative Life in Walnut Creek, California. She understands the critical role of your thyroid and that other factors can cause imbalances and prevent it from functioning optimally. If you already have a diagnosis of hypothyroidism or think your symptoms may be related to hormones imbalances, she can create a treatment plan designed to optimize your function. Call today for your appointment or book your visit online.

Thyroid Q & A

What is the thyroid gland?

Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that’s located at the center-front of your neck near the base. It’s part of your body’s endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce, store, and release hormones into your bloodstream. Your thyroid converts iodine in the foods you eat into two main hormones:

  • Triiodothyronine (T3)
  • Thyroxine (T4)

The amount of T3 and T4 produced by your thyroid is controlled by a rather complicated messaging system between your hypothalamus, pituitary, and thyroid glands.

Your hypothalamus gland, which is located in your brain, produces a hormone that communicates with your pituitary gland regarding how much thyroid hormone it senses in your body.

In response, your pituitary produces a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which it uses to “talk” to your thyroid gland.

When your pituitary gland gets a message from your hypothalamus indicating your T3 and T4 levels are low, it tells your thyroid gland to speed up production by increasing its release of TSH. When your thyroid hormone levels are too high, the pituitary gland slows your thyroid down by decreasing its release of TSH.

Many factors can influence this communications system, from the brain extending through to the conversion from inactive to active hormone. We explore these factors with you, ranging from nutritional deficiencies to stress in your life that may be causing the dysfunction.

What do thyroid hormones do for your body?

Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism and help with numerous vital functions, including:

  • Breathing, heart rate, and body temperature
  • Your central and peripheral nervous systems
  • Body weight and muscle strength
  • Menstrual cycles
  • Cholesterol levels
  • The rate at which your body digests food

What are the symptoms of a thyroid disorder?

Hyperthyroidism occurs when your body produces too much T3 and T4. Symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety, nervousness, and hyperactivity
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures
  • Trembling or shaking in your hands
  • Hair loss
  • Missed or light menstrual periods

Too little T3 and T4 in your body leads to hypothyroidism and symptoms that may include:

  • Difficulty sleeping, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and trouble concentrating
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Depression
  • Sensitivity to cold temperatures
  • Frequent periods with heavy bleeding
  • Joint and muscle pain

What is the treatment for thyroid disorder?

Treatment varies and depends on whether you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, the amount of T3 and T4 imbalance you’re experiencing, and which gland is causing the misstep. LL Integrative Life will explore the factors that may be contributing to the imbalances and address the root causes to restore balance.

If hormone therapy is warranted, it will be added in conjunction with your primary physician, and we would complement the therapy with other forms of treatment.