Learn About Thyroid & Adrenal Health
woman in pink | Thyroid | Absoultue Vitality

Meet Your Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck under the voice box and is responsible for regulating your body’s metabolic function (basal metabolic rate).

It does that by secreting a group of thyroid hormones that play a major role in the regulation of many bodily processes, especially those related to metabolic function. Maintaining the optimal function of the thyroid and balanced levels of its main hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), is vital for overall health.

Thyroid hormone

  • Not a single hormone but a group of hormones produced and released by the thyroid gland. In addition, other organs such as the liver, kidney, gut, pituitary gland, brown adipose (fat) tissue, muscle, and central nervous system help convert the inactive T4 form of the hormone to an active T3 form.
  • Regulates our basal metabolic rate

Body functions it impacts:

  • Metabolism- how our body utilizes energy
  • Regulates heart rate
  • Regulates breathing
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Regulates digestion
  • Regulates brain development and mental activity
  • Skin and bone maintenance
  • Regulates weight
  • Fertility
  • Low thyroid hormones lower DHEA and may impact most of any other hormone

Dysfunction of thyroid hormone performance is quite common and may result in conditions such as thyroiditis and hypothyroidism. In the United States, hypothyroidism reportedly affects up to 10% of adults.

The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism (LOW/underactive thyroid) are:

  • Fatigue/low energy
  • Brain fog/trouble concentrating
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss/brittleness/thinning (loss of your lateral eyebrows)
  • Cold intolerance (feeling cold when everyone around you is comfortable)
  • Depression
  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction (in men)
  • Menstrual irregularities/amenorrhea in women
  • Slow movements and thoughts
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Pain, numbness, and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers

The autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common type of thyroiditis and a common cause of hypothyroidism, affecting one to two percent of people in the US, a lot of them women. In this disorder, a dysregulated immune response impairs the production of thyroid hormones.

The most common symptoms of thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland):

  • Fatigue/low energy
  • Malaise
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Soreness and/or swelling at the front of the neck/throat
  • Hair loss
  • Menstrual irregularities/amenorrhea in women
  • May cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism in the initial stages and symptoms of hypothyroidism later in the disease
  • *On the flip side of a low-functioning thyroid is hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), which impacts about one percent of people in the US, with women two to ten times more likely to develop the condition. Graves’ disease is the most common type of hyperthyroidism in the US.

    In this autoimmune disorder, autoantibodies activate the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor, inducing excessive thyroid hormone secretion.

    Most common symptoms of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid):

    • Fatigue/low energy
    • Heat intolerance (feeling hot when everyone else in the room is comfortable)
    • Palpitations (sensation of extra or irregular heartbeat/tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
    • Fine hand tremors
    • The feeling of internal shakiness/tremor (as if you drank too much coffee) or
    • Hyperactivity – you may find it hard to stay still and have a lot of nervous energy
    • Weight loss
    • Sweaty skin
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Anxiety/irritability/mood swings
    • Difficulty with sleep
    • Menstrual irregularities/amenorrhea in women
    • Erectile dysfunction in men and loss of interest in sex in all genders
    • Muscle weakness
    • Diarrhea
    • Needing to urinate more often than usual
    • Persistent thirst
    • Itchiness
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Thyroid & Adrenal Health Benefits

How can the functional medicine approach help restore thyroid hormone balance and promote thyroid health?

Functional medicine recognizes that illness does not occur in isolation. Understanding the factors that may be at the root of an imbalance is an important place to start.

Among the different factors that may negatively affect thyroid health, endocrine disruptors can have a potentially major impact on the function of this gland. A 2021 investigation on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which are often found in foods, food packaging, water, and personal care products, indicated that EDCs such as bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and flame retardant compounds, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), can interfere with thyroid gland functioning and thyroid hormone transport through multiple mechanisms.

Observational studies noted a higher prevalence of autoimmune thyroid diseases in people living in polluted areas, near petrochemical plants, and in areas contaminated with organochlorine pesticides or PCBs.

Other factors that may impact thyroid hormone balance include stress as well as chronic inflammation.

Personalized interventions that focus on biotransformation/detoxification, anti-inflammatory diets, specific nutrients, and optimizing gut and liver health are important considerations for restoring thyroid hormone balance. Adequate intake and availability of micronutrients such as iodine and iron are crucial for thyroid hormone synthesis, as well as selenium and zinc for the conversion of T4 to T3 which takes place primarily in the liver but also in other organs such as the intestines and others. In addition, supplements used as complementary treatments may positively impact thyroid functioning. For example, ashwagandha has been used to help address thyroid dysfunctions.

Gut health and a balanced microbial landscape benefit many system processes in the body, including thyroid homeostasis. Dysbiosis and intestinal autoimmune diseases have been reported concurrently with autoimmune thyroid diseases.

Addressing toxicant exposures, systemic inflammation, gut imbalance, infections, chronic stress and other possible causes of thyroid disease are all approaches to enhancing thyroid health that we implement at Absoulute Vitality.

Meet Your Adrenal Glands

Adrenals are called so because they are small glands sitting atop our kidneys (renal in Latin means pertaining to kidneys). They are small endocrine glands belonging to HPA-Axis that perform some very important functions in your body.

HPA-Axis stands for Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and is a beautifully intricate and sophisticated system of the human body. It is our body’s main responder to stress and how we process the world around us. Under normal circumstances, our body effectively deals with stress by adjusting hormone levels (most notably, cortisol), which rapidly returns to normal once the perceived threat/stressor is over.

We possess survival mechanisms that are designed to adopt in this way to any and all stressors imaginable. A testament to the miraculous nature of the human body! Problems start when our stress is ongoing and chronic.

The adrenal gland produces several main hormones:

1. Cortisol

  • A steroid hormone called “fight or flight hormone”
  • Produced by our adrenal glands and in small amounts in other tissues
  • It helps our body respond to stress and inflammation
  • Cortisol is released into the blood in a diurnal rhythm, meaning that it is the highest in the morning, about 30-60 min after we wake up, and then slowly tapers down, normally becoming its lowest at bedtime to allow for restful sleep
  • A high level of it gives us energy in the morning, and a low level in the evening allows up to fall and stay asleep
  • Increases blood sugar levels
  • Increases blood pressure
  • Regulates metabolism
  • Influences memory formation
  • Controls salt and water balance

2. DHEA

DHEA – is a hormone made mostly by the adrenal gland but also a little bit in the skin and brain

  • Precursor hormone for the production of testosterone and estrogen
  • Its production declines with age starting in the late 20s
  • Stress may also impact your DHEA levels
  • Increases lean body mass and muscle strength
  • Activates immune function
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases feeling of wellness
  • Decreases joint soreness
  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Decreases triglycerides
  • Decreases risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Elevates growth hormone levels
  • Has a positive effect on memory
  • In women, improves sexual satisfaction

Aldosterone and adrenaline are also hormones produced in the adrenal gland.

All the hormones in our bodies are designed to work together— in concert. If one is altered or deficient, it may impact the function of any or all the other hormones. Adrenal hormones are no exception and they exert a powerful effect on all other hormones.

Prolonged stress can both predispose patients to and precipitate hormonal imbalances. Stress may also increase symptoms for patients with existing hormone imbalances. This “oversized” influence of adrenal hormones is the reason that, when treating hormone imbalances, there is a functional medicine “rule” that suggests to start with the adrenals.

In functional medicine, evaluation of stress and stress management strategies offer a low-harm, high-benefit intervention that can assist with downstream thyroid and sex hormone production, transport, and processing. The hormone production pathways are extremely complex and modulated by many factors, of which stress is just one example.

What Can We Do For Your Thyroid/Adrenal Health at Absoulute Vitality?

At Absoulute Vitality, we strongly believe in an individualized approach to patient care as well as an equal partnership between a doctor and a patient. We will dive deep into your past history to understand what specific factors may play a role in your well-being and your hormone balance/imbalance. We will offer you customized comprehensive blood work that may include hormone levels such as thyroid, cortisol, DHEA, and others. Very frequently, your PC doctor will not assess your thyroid function beyond a single TSH level. In functional medicine, we believe that there is a fine balance between ALL your thyroid hormones and to best know how to manage your imbalances, it is vital to measure all the multiple markers that make your endocrine system so intricate. Once results are available, based on your findings, we will offer you various strategies to bring your hormones back to balance. You will have a choice between a more natural approach and a more aggressive one, such as hormone replacement therapies, in addition to advice on proper nutrition and stress management that are so vital for your hormone health.

Thyrioid Issues | Thyroid | Absoultue Vitality

Additional tests of great value for an individualized approach to wellness are available, such as urinary/salivary hormone levels, genetic testing, gut health, food sensitivity, and toxicity screening

Once we have all the data, Dr. Kalika, with the help of her health coach, will create a customized plan consisting of a proper and realistic nutritional regimen, movement, and stress management routine, and appropriate supplements. Necessary follow-up will be arranged. Dr. Kalika and her clinical team will always be available to briefly answer all your questions through email communication between the visits.

Absoulute Body Weight Loss Program will also be available for those who desire and struggle to lose weight.

Who are the Best Candidates for Thyroid & Adrenal Health?

Any person residing in NJ, NY, MA, SC, DC, or AK who is struggling to regulate his/her/their adrenal/thyroid glands, feeling that their hormones are out of balance, or has been dealing with an insurmountable amount of stress for a long time and feeling its impact on their overall health. Another reason to explore hormones is the inability to lose or gain weight, control anxiety and/or depression, or anyone with symptoms suggestive of adrenal or thyroid imbalance (see sections (Meet your thyroid and adrenal” for details.)

How Much Does Thyroid & Adrenal Health Cost in New Jersey?

Once you become a patient of Absoulute Vitality, you will start out with the Discovery Phase which includes two sixty-minute appointments with Dr. Kalika and one sixty-minute visit with the health coach. The baseline price for your Discovery Phase (including two sixty-minute appointments with Dr. Kalika and one sixty-minute visit with the health coach) is $900. After the discovery phase is completed, if you decide to proceed with your care at AV, you will be able to choose between an annual membership plan called Absoulute Care with which you will get four thirty-minute follow-up visits with Dr. Kalika and four thirty-minute follow-up visits with your health coach, all evenly spread out throughout the following year. The discounted price for this membership is $1,000, paid upfront. Alternatively, you can purchase visits with Dr. K and your health coach a la carte. For the price, please refer to our price of services section.

*Please note – We are OUT OF NETWORK with all the insurances. FSA is welcome.

Additinoal Costs

If you have health insurance, your lab work (minus deductible), will most likely be covered. Some of the advanced functional tests have a limited option of insurance coverage, however, most of the testing is out of pocket. Each test has its own price which will be provided to you during your visit.

Some other expenses may include the price of the supplements, compounded medications, optional aesthetic procedures, and IV treatments that we offer. 10% discounts on aesthetic procedures are available for Dr. Kalika’s functional medicine patients.

Why Choose Us?

Sanna Kalika, M.D. is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician who focuses on providing her patients with the most attentive, comprehensive, integrative care. As an internist, Dr. Kalika specializes in diagnosing and treating a range of conditions that affect many organ systems. With over two decades of experience in traditional and integrative medicine and a strong interest in functional medicine, Dr. Kalika is able to utilize knowledge from both disciplines of medicine and combine them into one comprehensive approach to DIS-ease. Dr. Kalika has the best interest of her patients in mind and loves to offer patients an active participation in their own care, a true partnership.

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To schedule your consultation with Dr. Sanna Kalika for a deep dive into your hormonal health, please fill out a contact form on our website or give us a call at 732.302.6060. Dr. Sanna Kalika is a board-certified internal medicine physician located in Manalapan, New Jersey, and has an active license in other states (NY, SC, DC, MA, AK). Hours outside of a normal work day might be available if necessary, upon request. We look forward to helping you optimize your health, enabling you to feel healthy, vibrant, and abSOULute!

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We’re here to help, with a number of patient resources designed to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Read through the materials below, and don’t hesitate to reach out and set up your consultation to learn more about what we can do for you.