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Naturopathy/12 year old daughter


Hello.  I have a question.  My 12 year old daughter is an athletic build but slim.  Her thighs are muscular but she carries weight in her belly.  When she was 9, her belly had gotten pretty large.  So I stepped it up and cut sugar almost completely out of her diet and enrolled her in soccer (she was involved in ballet).  She slimmed down really well and when BMI is done at school, her measurements have been on the average mark.  Last year, she had blood drawn and it showed a slightly elevated Reverse T3.  Her number was 33.2 and it stated the range should be 12.2 - 32.2.  I am noticing she really seems to bloat certain days.  We try to do gluten free on most things and I do think it helps.  She is very moody and irritable and deals with constipation.  She is a type "A" personality and stresses ridiculously about school grades, etc.  Some people have mentioned she may have adrenal stress that is causing her thyroid to be elevated.  What do you recommend for her condition?  I like to stick with natural alternatives.  We don't do prescription meds unless it is an emergency. Thank you for your help!!

Hello Lisa,
Ideally, if you could find a naturopathic or holistic doctor near you, that would be best, since an alternative approach does work best when the whole person is taken into account.  And particularly with the endocrine system, working on one area affects the others.  The thyroid, female hormones, and adrenals are all very interconnected.  The reverse T3 is a marker that conversion of inactive to active thyroid hormone is abnormal, and this is affected by stress, as well as environmental stresses.  Specific substances such as chlorine may affect this conversion as well.  I am assuming the rest of the hormone were normal, they may be out of range yet not significantly, so that may mean it is early in the process, and therefore may better respond to making small changes.  This could include removing sources of chlorine, etc from the environment, strengthing the detoxification process, managing stress better, and providing supplemental nutrients such as selenium which help with conversion.  Under managing stress, much can be done that is lifestyle or behavorial, such as sleep, mind-body techniques, exercise, to start with.  Supplements commonly used to promote stress management include B vitamins especially B5, B6, and B12, nerve-soothing herbs like chamomile and milky oats, and adaptogenic herbs such as rhodiola, licorice, and holy basil.  On you own, you may be able to include some of these but I'd be most cautious with the adaptogenic herbs as they can act on other parts of the endocrine system, as well--so be sure to do your research to find one that best fits her needs.  Sorry to not be more specific but without knowing her whole case it is difficult with so many options.  
In health,
Dr Conner


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Kristina Conner, ND, MSOM


Naturopathic Medicine, Oriental/ Chinese medicine, Nutrition, Natural Family Medicine, Detoxification/ Cleansing, Herbal Medicine, Natural Remedies, Acupuncture


Licensed Naturopathic Physician for 11 years Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member and Secretary

Bastyr University, doctor of naturopathic medicine University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, residency in family and integrated medicine National University of Health Sciences, master of science in Oriental medicine

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