Education and Newsletters, Kelli Cuda, Masters in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, Uncategorized

Thyroid Health Uncovered

What is the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that sits just below your Adam’s apple. It is a master gland that secretes hormones and is responsible for regulation of metabolism, growth and development, and influences nearly every physiologic process in the human body. When thyroid levels are out of balance, so is our health and well-being.

How Does the Thyroid Gland Work?

In order to create balance, the thyroid communicates with two other glands in the brain, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPT axis for short) aka thyroid homeostasis, is an entire neuroendocrine system responsible for the regulation of metabolism. One might imagine the hypothalamus as the person who regulates the thermostat. It releases Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and tells the pituitary gland where the thyroid should be set. The pituitary gland (the thermostat), then releases Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to the thyroid gland, which acts as the furnace, producing thyroid hormones, Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). Thyroid hormones are like heat. When there is enough heat, the thermostat turns off, the room cools (thyroid hormone levels drop) and the process starts again as a negative feedback loop.

The thyroid gland itself uses iodine to produce the two main hormones, T4 and T3. The thyroid produces 80% T4 (inactive) and 20% T3(active). The body must convert the inactive hormones into an active, unbound, usable form.  Certain conditions, factors, and nutrients must be present, not only for the thyroid to produce these hormones but for this conversion to take place.

What Are Symptoms of a Malfunctioning Thyroid?

A wide array of symptoms can stem from either an under or over-functioning thyroid gland. Nearly every system in the body can be impacted so symptoms should not be ignored.

 

How to Treat a Thyroid Disorder

Often times when a thyroid condition is diagnosed, little is done to determine the underlying insult to this essential “master gland” of our body. Rather, treatment often stops at replacement hormones without determining where the imbalance has occurred. Simply replacing hormones, does not address the immune system dysregulation, which is often the root cause. Some considerations in a thorough work-up include;

  1. A FULL thyroid panel. Many times, only TSH, T3, and T4 are tested.  A full panel would include the following markers: Free T3, Free T4, Total T4, TSH, Anti-thyroglobulin Ab, Anti-TPO Ab, Thyroglobulin, Thyroxine-Binding Globulin (TBG) and Reverse T3
  2. Thyroid lab ranges vary. “Normal” can be a wide range with optimal functioning in a narrower window.
  3. Assess for specific nutrients that facilitate thyroid health
  4. Assess for potential factors (lifestyle, toxins, medications, etc.) that inhibit thyroid
  5. Heal the gut! Over 70% of the immune system originates in the gut. Gut bacteria also assist in hormone conversion
  6. Determine the most appropriate replacement hormone based on the patient’s specific needs

Want to optimize your thyroid and overall health? Kelli is currently accepting new patients. Call us to schedule! (614) 888-HERB (4372).

About Leaves of Life, Kelli Cuda, Masters in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, Uncategorized

Meet Kelli Cuda, Masters in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner

Hi, I’m Kelli, a Family Nurse Practitioner that is beyond thrilled to begin my work at Leaves of Life, one of the most well-established healing clinics in the Columbus area.

My journey all started as a student nurse at The Ohio State University Medical Center.  I quickly realized that I was on the right path when I looked forward to sitting at my patient’s bedside learning more about their story. I received my BSN at OSU and worked ten years in critical care. Ten years and two kids later, I returned to graduate school to fulfill my longtime goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. In 2014, I had the pleasure of working with an amazing medical team at a large family practice. During this time, I cared for patients of all ages and ailments. I was pleased to have the opportunity to initiate real change using an integrative, patient-centered approach.

Today I hold close not only the valuable professional and life experiences I have gained overtime, but my internal desire to become part of the exciting and evolutionary change in healthcare. I am currently completing a post-maters certificate in Functional Medicine and it is my desire to sculpt the paradigm of healthcare through education, prevention, and wellness.

I have a husband and three beautiful kiddos, 2, 8, and 10. My side job is their personal uber driver and lover of all their sports and recreation. Our community is everything. I find peace in my faith, my village, and always…on the lake. I still love to choregraph a good dance routine, sleep in whenever I can (usually once a year), and belt a tune like I am Beyoncé. (I’m terrible…but my kids think it’s hysterical). I believe balance is key. That…and tickle time.

How Can I Help You?

At Leaves of Life, I’ll help you better understand your health and how to move it in the right direction. I strive to improve whole body wellness by identifying the root cause of inflammation or imbalance. Every patient is unique and biochemically diverse and therefore a comprehensive history is essential. We review symptoms, conduct a thorough medical/surgical/family history, review lab work and other diagnostics, discuss lifestyle (including nutrition, stress, sleep hygiene, toxic burden, etc.), and physical exam. I will work alongside your primary care physician and communicate identified imbalances based on my extensive work-up and make suggestions accordingly. I believe in collaboration and value the importance of integrating traditional medicine with functional medicine. It is an extension of evidenced-based practice that allows us to treat more than just the symptoms by treating our patients just as uniquely as they were created.

If you’d like to take charge and work toward your best health yet, I’d love to partner with you and your primary care physician on your journey!