Low Thyroid Correction In Pittsburgh PA

Sarah’s Story

Tired Woman

Sarah, a 41-year-old mother of three, works as a financial analyst with a large company. The company has locations all over the country. Before settling in Pittsburgh, she previously worked in Cincinnati. Sarah and her husband Mark bought a house in Mt. Lebanon, a neighborhood in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh.

Sarah works full-time. When she’s not working at her job, she does her best to take care of her family, a house, and if there’s any time left over…herself. She enjoys traveling (particularly to the beach), reading, and going to the movies.

Over the past couple of years, Sarah has been experiencing some strange symptoms. First, it was fatigue. No matter how much she slept, she always felt tired (particularly in the afternoons). After that, she noticed she was starting to gain some weight. Her clothes started to feel tight. And then she was forced to shop for new outfits (because the old ones didn’t fit anymore). Sarah started to have problems paying attention. It was like her brain was always in a fog. This affected her performance at work. While she used to be able to perform at the highest levels, she was now just doing the bare minimum.

What alarmed her, and caused her to want to seek help was that her hair started falling out. Her brush was pulling out more and more of the once thick mane of hair she had. Sarah was proud of her appearance. When she noticed the hair falling out, it caused her to want to seek help from her doctor.

Sarah went to see her primary care doctor. He ordered some blood tests. One of the tests measured thyroid stimulating hormone (or TSH). The results came back that she had low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism). He wrote her a prescription for levothyroxine. Sarah took the drug as instructed. However, it didn’t reduce or eliminate her problems. She continued to complain to her doctor about how she felt.

TSH Test

The primary care physician referred her to another doctor who deals specifically with hormone problems (an endocrinologist). This doctor also ordered lab tests. This time, it consisted of a TSH and a Free T4. The endocrinologists concluded that she had hypothyroidism and should continue with the same medicine the previous doctor had ordered.

Sarah’s Guide to Functional Medicine

The endless cycle of suffering with symptoms and taking synthetic T4 hormone continued. Sarah was at the hair stylist one day. She was telling her stylist about how she was experiencing hair loss (as well as all of the other symptoms). The stylist told her about a doctor in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh who helped her sister. The sister was having similar problems. She went to see Dr. Kevin Smith, a guide and functional medicine clinician. The stylist gave Sarah Dr. Smith’s phone number and told her to give him a call to see if he could help her.

Sarah called Dr. Smith at the Chronic Conditions Center. They spoke on the phone for about 20 minutes. And Sarah told him her story. Dr. Smith suggested they do a formal consultation so he could do a deep dive into her problems. He had her complete some initial paperwork (mostly so he could take a look at her medical history). There were also a few questionnaires attached to the paperwork.

One thing Sarah immediately noticed was that this doctor was different from her primary care physician as well as the endocrinologist. He seemed to care about all kinds of things that the other doctors never explored (like her diet, exercise habits, sleep habits, stress levels, life effects, and other factors).

Thyroid Graphic Follow Up

When speaking to Dr. Smith, Sarah learned that low thyroid problems can manifest with a lot of symptoms, including:

  • Poor Energy (feeling tired and sluggish all the time)
  • Brain Fog (difficulty focusing on tasks, poor concentration, poor memory)
  • Weight Gain / Difficulty With Weight Loss (even with diet and exercise)
  • Require Excessive Sleep To Function Properly
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness, Irritable, Anxious
  • Bowel Movement Problems (constipation or diarrhea)
  • Feel Cold In Feet, Hands, or All Over
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Dry, Brittle Hair
  • Thinning of Hair (on scalp, face, or genitals)
  • Dryness of Skin / Scalp
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Night Sweats
  • Inward Trembling
  • Increased Pulse (even at rest)

Dr. Smith went on to guide Sarah that in 90% of all cases of hypothyroidism, the person has an underlying autoimmune problem called Hashimoto’s disease. While it doesn’t occur with everyone, it’s almost everyone (9 out of every 10 patients with thyroid problems). Most medical doctors never test for Hashimoto’s disease. And even if they did, it wouldn’t affect their treatment plan.

He then went on to explain that in addition to autoimmune disease being a primary factor, there are also nine “triggers” that can disrupt healthy thyroid function. These triggers include:

1. Anemia
2. Blood Sugar Balance
3. Cortisol Problems (due to adrenal dysfunction)
4. Sex Hormone Imbalances
5. Chronic Inflammation
6. Gastrointestinal Problems (like leaky gut, dysbiosis, and poor absorption)
7. Food Intolerances
8. Stealth Infections
9. Chemical Sensitivities

The way to identify which triggers are present is through testing. The tests come in the form of blood, urine, saliva, and stool. This way, the doctor can get objective data (rather than guessing or assuming about the root cause of the problems).

lab tests


Dr. Smith’s Solution

After consulting with Sarah about her problems, Dr. Smith’s initial recommendation was to start with a comprehensive blood & urine test. He noted that no one test will answer all of the questions. But a comprehensive blood & urine test could give them a solid medical baseline. After that, they’d be able to find answers to some of their questions. It would also establish how serious the problem was.

Connecting The Dots

After the preliminary blood & urine analysis, Dr. Smith’s plan for Sarah included ordering tests for food sensitivities, sex hormones, adrenal function, and a comprehensive look into her GI tract. By doing a comprehensive array of tests, Dr. Smith was able to connect the dots and obtain the necessary clinical information to arrive at the most accurate diagnosis.

In addition to having Hashimoto’s disease, Sarah was positive for 5 additional triggers (including multiple GI problems, food reactivity, sex hormone imbalances, adrenal fatigue, and chronic inflammation).

The Treatment Plan And Sarah’s Transformation

Armed with the test results, Dr. Smith created a customized treatment plan that consisted of a special diet, a prescription for professional strength supplements, and some lifestyle modifications. Within 2 months, Sarah’s brain fog lifted. She had energy like she hadn’t had since she was in her 20s. She lost 20 pounds, and her hair not only stopped falling out, it was growing thicker than ever. She was doing better at work. She had more confidence and her self-esteem improved (due to the physical improvements).

Healthy Thyroid


If She Didn’t Take Action….

If Sarah hadn’t tried Dr. Smith’s strange new approach to correcting her thyroid problems, she would have been stuck in the same prison of hypothyroidism. Both the primary care physician and endocrinologist were ordering an insufficient number of tests and failed to take into consideration the myriad of peripheral things that were impacting thyroid function. Not only would Sarah have continued to suffer, it would have eventually gotten worse (as her thyroid gland eroded).

Stressed Young Woman


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of low thyroid levels?

Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain (even with diet & exercise), low energy, brain fog, anxiety & depression, nervousness & irritability, problems concentrating, poor memory, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, distention, abdominal cramping, leaky gut syndrome, sleep disorders, dry brittle hair (that falls out), weak and cracked nails (in the fingers & toes), loss of the outer 1/3 of the eyebrow, infertility, abnormal menstrual cycles, dry-flaky or oily skin, and more. You don’t have to have all of these problems…you could have one, or more than one.

Who is affected by thyroid problems?

Thyroid problems affect about 30 million Americans every year, with women being impacted more than men by a ratio of 8:1. 97% of the time, the problem is low thyroid (or hypothyroidism).

What is the #1 cause of hypothyroidism?

Inside the United States, the #1 cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s Disease (an autoimmune disease). Outside of the US, the primary cause is iodine deficiency. Americans typically don’t suffer from iodine deficiency because we use a lot of iodized salt in our food.

How do you restore low thyroid?

First, we need to determine if the problem is being caused by an autoimmune problem (called Hashimoto’s disease). Second, we need to identify the various “triggers” that can disrupt normal thyroid function. And third, we need to restore balance to the various systems that are linked to thyroid physiology.

What are some of the triggers that cause low thyroid function?

Some of the triggers of hypothyroidism include anemias, blood sugar problems, adrenal issues (abnormal cortisol output), chronic inflammation, gastrointestinal problems, food intolerances, sex hormone imbalances, stealth infections, and chemical sensitivities. These can all be identified through proper lab testing.


“I now feel normal again. My energy is up, I get a full night’s sleep, the brain fog is completely gone and for the first time I’m actually starting to lose weight. I feel like a completely different person. If you have thyroid problems, you have to try Dr. Smith.”
– Doug S., Monroeville, PA

“Once I consulted with Dr. Smith, he put me back on a drug-free, natural approach to bring my body back to a neutral state. I am finally back to my old healthy, feeling great self and I couldn’t be happier! Thank you Dr. Smith!”
– Kathy W., Pittsburgh, PA

“What’s even more impressive is that he was able to COMPLETELY eliminate 100% of my symptoms without medication, but rather through changing my diet and prescribing some supplements. I feel amazing and I totally believe in Dr. Smith.”
– Debbie C., Upper St. Clair, PA

“Because his approach to hypothyroid problems is different, I feel better than I have in 20 years. I’ve lost weight, my energy is back and I can think clearly. If you have a thyroid issue, you must try Dr. Smith. He’s an amazing doctor.”
– Mark A., Pittsburgh, PA

“His method of treating thyroid is different from other physicians. Rather than taking more and more drugs, he found certain foods I was eating which were the cause of my problems. His methods are different, they work and I couldn’t be more happy. I feel better every day now, thanks to Dr. Smith! This is truly life-changing care.”
– Susan M., Castle Shannon, PA

If you have thyroid problems, contact us to book a discovery call.