portland naturopathic doctor treating thyroid with acupuncture

Naturopathic & Acupuncture Thyroid Care in Portland, Oregon.

We are empathetic physicians who walk with you on the journey of thyroid health. As specialists of naturopathic medicine and acupuncture in Portland, Oregon, our doctors treat the thyroid within the context of the larger endocrine system; confident in the knowledge that thyroid health is attainable via natural solutions for balanced endocrine function. We address underlying endocrine imbalances, diet and environmental factors to build a strong foundation for hormone health.

While the science of our treatment philosophy has been integral to our clinical success, it’s also important that we affirm our patients by respecting the emotional impact that thyroid and hormone balance can make in one’s life.

Set an Appointment for Natural, Research-Based Thyroid Care:


Each part of the endocrine system plays a unique role in balancing the processes that happen within the body. The individual parts of the endocrine system rely on each other to function properly.

As a part of the larger endocrine system, thyroid function is grealty affected by estrogen from the ovaries and cortisol from the adrenal glands. Because of this, reduced thyroid function may be caused by other, underlying hormonal imbalances that need to ne addressed to achieve lasting results.

The most effective thyroid treatments involve looking deeper into the pattern that can cause imbalances in the endocrine system.

Thyroid Health: Our Holistic Philosophy

Our treatment philosophy for thyroid and endocrine function entails working with the body’s own natural tendencies in order to achieve more lasting, sustainable thyroid health. We want to help our patients achieve and maintain a level of health where taking medications or hormones on a regular basis is no longer necessary. That said, when necessary we can and will prescribe medications or hormones to treat temporary thyroid issues while moving toward holistic balance. But, we still remain grounded in our naturopathic and Chinese-Medicine/acupuncture philosophy of care.

We consistently move toward our goal of wellness without medications by treating health conditions in the body as they truly are: interconnected with other systems and related to the health of the body in its totality. Rather than just treating thyroid symptoms like Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism by themselves, we also examine the larger picture of endocrine function. At our integrative medical clinic in SW Portland, we investigate underlying causes like estrogen dominance, excess cortisol from undiagnosed allergies or long term stress as well as the emotional and physical history that may exacerbate thyroid issues.

Dr. Danielle Lockwood on Naturopathic Thyroid Care:

My name is Dr. Danielle Lockwood and I practice Naturopathic medicine & acupuncture in Portland, Oregon. Today we’re going to discuss thyroid concerns that aren’t being addressed; many people have seen a doctor but after medication their symptoms either came back or never left. Others may have seen a doctor about thyroid symptoms but found that the doctor would not address the thyroid gland until it is functioning 60% lower than normal. Delaying thyroid support in this way brings up the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In contrast, at Terrain Wellness, our patients appreciate that we address the thyroid before it becomes a larger problem requiring hormonal intervention.

Medical care fails so many thyroid patients because short visits = short-sighted treatment. Despite the complexity of the endocrine system of which the thyroid is a part of, mainstream medicine is surprisingly simplistic in its thyroid treatments. The common procedure is to run a lab for thyroid which is then compared to the “normal range”. When a hormone is outside the “normal range”, the doctor prescribes drugs to boost or suppress the endocrine system back into a cookie-cutter model of “health”. The problem with using drugs to boost/suppress hormones to normal levels is that this does nothing to treat the issues that led to the imbalance to begin with. As in all of life, when we don’t deal with the real issue, it will usually get worse.

From a naturopathic & acupuncture perspective, it is much better to find gentle, natural ways to balance thyroid and other hormones before the situation becomes a long-term problem. Thyroid issues have become ubiquitous for women in their 30’s-50’s but can also appear in men and other age groups as well. The good news is that by taking some extra time and putting in some more effort, we’ve been able help many patients balance out their endocrine levels (including thyroid) using safe, natural methods.

    Thyroid Symptoms:

  • muscle pain/weakness, swelling
  • feeling cold
  • brain fog, fatigue
  • weight gain
  • constipation
  • dry/rough skin & hair loss
  • irregular/heavy periods
  • depression/anxiety

Thyroid Problems Symptomatic of Larger Endocrine Imbalances:

Problems with the thyroid are a SYMPTOM of a larger issue. Sure, thyroid meds may help for a little while, but without addressing the reason(s) behind the thyroid imbalance; the symptoms will likely come back, or even get worse. Healthy thyroid function depends on numerous systems in the body all working together. The “endocrine system” is the formal name for this complex network of interconnected glands, receptors and the hormones that act as chemical messengers. An imbalance in a number of other chemical messengers in the endocrine system may put the thyroid out of balance.

Using drugs to boost/suppress thyroid or other endocrine hormones like estrogen or progesterone is like arguing with the chemical messages that the body is sending. At the Terrain Wellness clinic in Portland, Oregon, we find it more productive to ask why the body is sending these imbalanced messages to begin with so we can develop a customized approach just for you.

How Terrain Wellness is Improving Thyroid Care in Portland, Oregon

  • First and foremost, our office has one-on-one appointments where patients get a full hour with the doctor. This gives us time to fully investigate and treat the imbalances that could be making the thyroid under-react or overreact.
  • In addition to running comprehensive thyroid panels, we also examine estrogen, progesterone and cortisol levels when appropriate. The thyroid generally doesn’t act out in a vacuum so the better strategy is to find out why and how the condition developed.
  • We may also check for thyroid anti-bodies and inflammatory conditions which may indicate an autoimmune pattern.
  • Also, instead of just looking at lab results as numeric values, we examine the data as a whole to understand the deeper patterns that may be at work.
  • It may be trite, but we also improve thyroid treatment outcomes by listening to our patients and taking the time to really connect with what our patients are trying to say. This patient-centered approach helps us better understand what our patients are experiencing and improves the service and treatments we provide here in Portland, Oregon.

    Underlying Conditions That May Affect the Thyroid

  • Estrogen Dominance: depresses thyroid function while also causing numerous serious health complications.
  • Chronic/long-term stress: Long-term exposure to stress elevates Cortisol in the body. One effect of Cortisol is depressed Thyroid function.
  • Underlying food allergies: food allergies can stress the body, resulting in an inflammatory response and elevated Cortisol levels.
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals or heavy metals can harm the thyroid and can actually harm the thyroid gland itself.

These are just a few of the many complex, underlying conditions that may come up as thyroid dysfunction. As in all of life, when we don’t deal with the real issue, it will usually get worse.

Because thyroid function is so closely tied to other hormones, we feel that treating thyroid symptoms without examining the bigger picture of the endocrine system and the rest of the body is like trying to put out a fire by taking the battery out of a smoke alarm. It is for this reason, we’ve developed our philosophy of thyroid care around taking extra time to really listen to our patients while examining the underlying causes that may be affecting thyroid health.

I hope you found this article and video helpful because, as a doctor, I am here to heal and serve. If you need help with your Thyroid or other endocrine function, we serve Portland, Oregon and surrounding communities. Please, call and book an appointment today.