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The Optimal Treatment for Hypothyroidism: Robban Sica, MD

Dr. Robban Sica Shares Her Approach to Treating an Underactive Thyroid

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Updated December 22, 2010

The Optimal Treatment for Hypothyroidism: Robban Sica, MD

Dr. Robban Sica believes that thyroid test results are only part of the picture in diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism.

One of the leading experts on hormonal balance and holistic health, Robban Sica, MD, has shared her approach to optimal treatment for hypothyroidism, as part of this series featuring well-known practitioners with expertise in hormone balance and hypothyroidism diagnosis and treatment.

For Dr. Robban Sica, optimal treatment for hypothyroidism is when the patient's hypothyroid symptoms -- i.e., fatigue, depression, dry skin, hair loss, etc. -- have totally resolved, without any hyperthyroid symptoms such as palpitations, tachycardia, insomnia, anxiety, tremor, jitteriness, or bone loss. Her goal: for patients to say "I feel like I have my life back" or "I feel like myself again!"

According to Dr. Sica:

Since I believe that hypothyroidism is a clinical diagnosis, the lab values are not the determining factor for me. Many clinically hypothyroid patients have test results within the reference range and yet respond beautifully to treatment. The lab reference range is based on the last 100-200 samples (from symptomatic patients!) submitted to the lab for testing; they are not determined by testing optimally healthy individuals. These tests, therefore, can miss the diagnosis and be misleading.

However, at the point where both the patient and I feel an optimal dose has been achieved, I order thyroxine levels (T4) to make sure that they are within range. Elevated T4 levels have been associated with increased bone loss (not a low TSH, which is what is commonly stated). I also check either an NTx or Pyrilinks urine test to make sure that bone resorption (break down) is not elevated.

Robban A. Sica, MD is an integrative physician, President of the International College of Integrative Medicine, and a member of the Board of Directors at Alliance for Natural Health. Her practice, the Center for the Healing Arts, is located in Orange, CT.

Center for the Healing Arts website: www.centerhealingarts.org

Source: Email interview with Robban Sica, MD - December 2010

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