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Chances are, you or someone you know is currently dealing with a thyroid condition.  Hypothyroidism brings with it the potential for a host of associated symptoms including fatigue, depression, unexplained weight gain, always feeling cold, constipation, muscle weakness and many more.  Thyroid conditions can be extremely frustrating, due to the complexities of the endocrine system and the way blood panels for thyroid conditions are most often run.  


The thyroid is part of a complicated system of organs and glands, called the endocrine system. Because these organs and glands are so intricately connected, diminished function in one area affects the whole system. Looking at the system as a whole is essential in resolving thyroid or other endocrine imbalance.


Although there is a growing awareness of the need to conduct comprehensive thyroid panels to accurately diagnose thyroid conditions, there are many doctors who will look at only one blood marker to assess thyroid function.  In my opinion, this is an inadequate assessment of thyroid health due to the steps through which thyroid hormone is signaled, produced and converted into a functional form.  


If you or someone you know suspects they have a thyroid condition, asking your doctor what panels they request for a thyroid assessment could save you a lot of time and headaches.  At the least, you should be requesting TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Total T3 and TPO.  Finding a healthcare practitioner who tests and understands all of these components is paramount to receiving the correct care.  In order to properly treat a hypothyroid condition, it is important to understand all of the puzzle pieces involved.


The diagnosis of thyroid conditions can be further complicated because thyroid panels often come back normal despite an individual suffering from a pattern of symptoms that appears to be related to thyroid hormone levels.  This is because thyroid function has to deteriorate to a certain level before it will appear on your lab results. There is a grey area between the time that thyroid function begins to diminish and the time that it is revealed in your labs. During this time, you can still be experiencing the symptoms of low thyroid function even though the problem isn’t extreme enough to show up in your labs yet.


While thyroid medications can be immensely helpful in restoring an individual’s quality of life, they can also create a dependence on the medication.  Deeper, more complete healing occurs when we identify and correct the root of the problem, which has allowed the deficiency to occur in the first place.  In most cases, the answer is as simple as giving the body the nutrients and stimulus it needs to restore function.  Proper nutrition consisting of avoiding processed foods, especially added sugars, coupled with whole food based supplements and a regular exercise regimen are often all it takes get the body back into a state of health.  At Vital Health, we excel in identifying the underlying causes of health challenges and providing the education and support needed for our patients to take their health back into their own hands.  Feel free to give us a call or drop in to ask questions about how we can help.  


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Hypothyroidism: Putting the Puzzle Together

M.S. Oriental Medicine

Licensed Acupuncturist

Dipl. O.M. (NCCAOM)

Jonathan M. Sasser

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Jonathan M. Sasser holds a Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine, is a Licensed Acupuncturist, and is board certified in Oriental Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He has over 3,000 hours of training in acupuncture, classical Oriental Medicine, herbal medicine and nutrition. Additionally, Jon also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sport’s Medicine. Jon is a “Health Detective,” he looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Jonathan is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene.  Visit our website at to learn more about Jonathan Sasser, join our e-mail list and read other informative articles.  Jonathan Sasser can be reached at 208-765-1994 or and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

Sasser Jon 3-7-19