Functional & Integrative Thyroid Treatment: CONNECTING THE DOTS & providing answers
complete thyroid panel
Not All Tests are Equal: Many doctors will only test TSH by itself, which explains why a lot of new patients tell us in the past, they have normal thyroid labs, but still experience symptoms.
TSH as a pituitary measurement alone does not indicate the response of the thyroid to the pituitary signal or the ability of the body to convert T4 to the active T3 hormone.
At COEM, we follow a more comprehensive approach to lab testing using a complete thyroid panel that may include:
- reverse t3
- free t3
- total t3
- free t4
- total t4
About 90% of patients with hypothyroidism are found to have an autoimmune disease. This is why we may also test for antibodies as they are predictive of the disease. If Hashimotos is suspected, we will include TPO and TG Thyroglobulin antibodies. If Grave’s is suspected, we test for TPO, TG Thyroglobulin, TSI, and Trab antibodies.
We take the functional medicine approach and consider supplementing treatment for a high TSH level at a lower lab value than other practices. We take this approach in order to be preventive and alleviate pathology that has been deemed sub clinical.
- Bioidentical compounded hormone replacement therapy
- Natural prescriptions like Nature-Thyroid, specifically because it contains t3 and t4, unlike Synthroid which only contains t4
- Adrenals – Test and support adrenals
- Dietary modifications
- Supplements - Our physician grade supplements are made in FDA registered production facilities and many have standardized extract
- Lifestyle changes
FINDING THE ROOT CAUSE
Our physicians are more than Medical Doctors, they're Medical Detectives. We take the time to listen and look beyond the standard diagnosis. By investigating your medical and family history, symptoms, diet, and performing a thorough physical exam, we're able to connect the dots and discover your 'total body stress load'.
Identifying the underlying trigger/s allows us to create a more effective and personalized plan designed to heal the whole body. Below is a diagram from the Institute of Functional Medicine that explaining some of the factors that affect thyroid function:
Meet Our Doctors
William J. Weirs, MD, FAAEM
Dr. Weirs being board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Environmental Medicine, has practiced for over 15 years and gained valuable experience in treating different kinds of patients and clinical presentations.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well as Outdoor Education from Georgia College & State University and earned his medical degree from Mercer University School of Medicine in 2003.
Continuing his medical education, Dr. Weirs has attained certification in Age Management Medicine from Cenegenics and is a graduate of the Integrative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Arizona. He is also certified in Functional Medicine by the Institute of Functional Medicine.
Prior to joining COEM five years ago, he worked as an ER doctor and Assistant Medical Director for three hospitals in Georgia. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM).
Dr. Weirs believes that each person is a unique individual. In his own words, "All humans have similarities, but we are each biochemically unique. The perfect diet and environment for one person may not be perfect for someone else". His goal is to help his patients achieve optimal health by identifying and treating the root cause of illness and optimize their personal wellbeing.
Dr. Weirs discusses our appoarch to thyroid treatment.
BETTINA HERBERT, M.D., F.A.A.P.M.R., D.A.B.O.I.M., I.F.M.C.P.
Dr. Bettina Herbert is board certified in Integrative Medicine as well as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
She was named a Bravewell Fellow to the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona graduating in 2008. In 2015, she became board certified in Integrative Medicine in the first ever group of physicians to be registered by the American Board of Integrative Medicine.
She was also in the first graduating class to be certified by the Institute for Functional Medicine,and Fellow-Elect of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
For over six years she led the Integrative Pain Program at the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine where she saw many patients with chronic and complex illnesses.
Prior to joining COEM four years ago, she was the Director of Functional Medicine at the Tao Institute of Mind and Body Medicine.
Her specialties include: Thyroid disease, Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, mold/heavy metal/ chemical toxicity, multiple chemical sensitivity, GI disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and more.
Her message is one of empowerment: "My goal is to work with you in a true partnership. Together we will look for and address the underlying reasons your body may be expressing these symptoms. We will develop a personalized treatment plan to help you regain your life and put you back in charge of your own health."
MEET OUR NEW PATIENT COORDINATOR - GABBY
Our New Patient Coordinator, Gabby, will help coordinate your New Patient Appointment and answer any questions you may have. She can relate to patients because she's been in their shoes. She herself was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s at the age of 16.
Prior to joining COEM, she traveled all over the US trying to find a specialist that would listen and look for the underlying cause of her illness. She began seeing both Dr. Weirs and Dr. Herbert in May 2018. Since starting treatment here, she has become inspired to share her story with the goal to encourage others not to give up - there is hope.
She understands what it’s like to be told “it’s all in your head” and wants to show people as living proof that there are answers and you can get well despite of what you have been told. Hear about her journey in the video below.