Thyroid UK
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Functional Doctor

Has anyone worked with a functional doctor? I've found one near me and she's very expensive, but I'm wondering if it would be worth it.

It's knowing where to start, really. My TSH is good atm at 0.28 but I feel shocking. My Vitamin D is really low in spite of taking supplements. I've been given a strong dose of that to take for 3 months, but feel like there is more I should be doing. I am concerned it's low in spite of taking caplets throughout winter. My liver function is off again too. It feels like a minefield and I could do with some guidance from somewhere.

I was very ill with a number of viral infections from September until December so the GP says there is an element of post viral fatigue and says I need rest, but it would be good to take positive steps to helping myself recover. I must admit, my strict gluten free slipped over the last couple of months, so I am back on that 100%.

Any help would be appreciated.

18 Replies
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What is your Vit D level (say if nmol/L or Ng/ml)?

What are you taking - brand and dose?

Are you taking your Vit D with the fattiest meal of the day to aid absorption?

Are you taking magnesium which helps the body to use D3?

Do you have raised thyroid antibodies - Hashimoto's?

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I have Hashimotos but don't know current antibodies. I was taking a gel caplet that was 5000mig - would need to check brand.

I've started to take a 1000 with lunch which is biggest meal as dr has prescribed me a 40,000 once a month for next three months so didn't want to overdo it.

Not sure what the measurement was, but 60 was figure in red. It was in the 120s at last test.

I've ordered magnesium to start and selenium.

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It sounds as though your level had dropped from 120 to 60nmol/L. The Vit D Council recommends a level of 100-150nmol/L. [If it was Ng/ml then 60 is the top end of the recommended level.]

With a level of 60nmol/L it would be a good idea to take 5000iu daily until the recommended level is reached, then you need to find your maintenance dose by trial and error, mine is 4000iu in winter and 2000iu during the rest of the year.

Your GP has prescribed the equivalent of 1333iu daily (40,000iu per month). Daily dosing is better than taking it once a month.

As you have Hashimoto's then for best absorption an oral spray is recommended as it bypasses the stomach. BetterYou do a 3000iu and a 1000iu spray.

If you want to follow those suggestions then I would retest in 3 months.

Important cofactors are needed when taking D3, magnesium being one of them, another being K2-MK7. D3 aids absorption of calcium from food and K2-MK7 directs the calcium to bones and teeth where it is needed and away from arteries and soft tissues where it can be deposited and cause problems.

Hashimoto's tends to cause gut/absorption problems and very often low nutrient levels are the result amd could be the cause of why your VIt D level remains low despite supplementing. It would be a good idea to test B12, folate and ferritin as well.

Are you strictly gluten free to help reduce antibodies?

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I was gluten free, then it started to creep back in around Christmas. I am now going to be strict about it since I'm guessing that I haven't help myself at all. I'll look for the spray and K2-MK7. Thank you.

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What are your current thyroid results TSH, FT4 and FT3

Your antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's, (also known by medics here in UK more commonly as autoimmune thyroid disease).

About 90% of all hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto's

Essential to test folate, ferritin and B12 as well as vitamin D

Low vitamins are extremely common

Always get actual results and ranges. Post results when you have them, members can advise

Hashimoto's affects the gut and leads to low stomach acid and then low vitamin levels

Low vitamin levels affect Thyroid hormone working

Poor gut function can lead leaky gut (literally holes in gut wall) this can cause food intolerances. Most common by far is gluten

According to Izabella Wentz the Thyroid Pharmacist approx 5% with Hashimoto's are coeliac, but over 80% find gluten free diet helps significantly. Either due to direct gluten intolerance (no test available) or due to leaky gut and gluten causing molecular mimicry (see Amy Myers link)

But don't be surprised that GP or endo never mention gut, gluten or low vitamins. Hashimoto's gut and gluten connection is very poorly understood

Changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms, help gut heal and slowly lower TPO antibodies

Ideally ask GP for coeliac blood test first

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

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amymyersmd.com/2017/02/3-im...

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Private tests are available

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting and don't take Levo in the 24 hours prior to test. This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, GP will be unaware)

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Thanks for this. I've taken the plunge and booked tests through medicheck. I'm going to have blood drawn. If I get an appointment later in the day, what do I do about fasting and levo?

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Can you not get early morning appointment? Or use a drop in private clinic for blood draw

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I'm not sure what I'll get offered. I'm going to a private clinic. I was just curious what happens if you don't get offered a morning. I will ask for early though. I do when I go to the GP.

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I use a drop in, no-appointment required, private hospital phlebotomist and get there for 9am opening time

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I use a functional doctor. Am impressed she looks for underlying causes for Hashimoto's with heavy metal testing & labs for viruses & hormones. She prescribed LDN to hopefully lower antibodies.

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Thank you. I'm giving it serious thought. Can I ask when you decided to go? Had you not felt well on usual things like Levo?

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It was an uphill battle with my GP, the usual pharmaceutical response for anything that required a closer look. He's been accepting of my interest in being on NDT & T3. I wanted a doc with a progressive, holistic outlook & someone who'd spend more than 5 min with me. The functional medicine doctor examined me thoroughly even looking at my nails, asked me detailed questions & doesn't jump to conclusions. It's expensive & I hope to go to her for as long as I can afford it. One thing to be cautious about is that functional physicians often go hog wild with labs. Mine doesn't. She looks at one thing at a time & doesn't order a ton of tests at once. Hope this helps you.

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It does help. Thank you for this. I've booked some private bloods, so will review after those. I'm certainly thinking functional is the way to go.

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You will get thyroid advice on this forum as you know. But a functional practitioner should consider everything in a holistic approach so could be good although it won't happen overnight. I've used on who charges £60 per consultation which seems typical in UK. What have you been quoted?

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This one is a GP who has a private practice - it's £1000 for initial appointment and three follow up ones. About 3.5 hours in total. Expensive! A private endo is about £200 per visit here.

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Hello Abbymeg, thank you for sharing your experience. I'm searching for a functional doctor that could help me understand the root cause or my AI problem. Could I ask you who you are seeing?

Thank you very much in advance for your reply.

Mirvec

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I haven't seen anyone yet. I'm going to a private endo first and will take it from there. I'll PM you if I do go to a functional dr.

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Hello Abbymeg, apologies for missreafing your post.

Thank you for your reply. I wish you all the best with your next visit with the private endo.

Have a nice long week end.

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