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naturopathic doctor

Dr. Tessica Geil

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905-769-4100
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Hormones

0hormones

Healthy Hormones. Happy hormones

Hormones play an integral role in our health. They are involved in almost every process that takes place in the human body, from reproduction, metabolism and sleep to mood, immunity, and digestive function. Given their complexity, it is not surprising that the slightest imbalance can cause an array of symptoms that leave you feeling unwell. Dr. Geil offers comprehensive hormone testing to help identify exactly where things may have gone awry. By bringing your hormones back into a state of balance you will begin to feel like yourself again. Treatments are naturally focused and may include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)vitamin & mineral supplementation, nutraceuticals, botanicals, acupuncture, and specific lifestyle recommendations. 

from menses to menopause

With each phase of life comes new challenges and experiences. 

Signs & Symptoms

  • Acne

  • Headaches

  • Long menstrual cycles

  • Short menstrual cycles 

  • Anovulation

  • Painful periods

  • Heavy periods

  • Breast tenderness

  • Irritability 

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • Depression 

  • Palpitations 

  • Brain fog 

  • Food cravings

  • Constipation / diarrhea

  • Bloating 

  • Fatigue

  • Weight gain / loss 

  • Infertility

  • Hair loss / hair growth  

  • Temperature dysregulation

  • Hot flashes

  • Insomnia

  • Poor libido

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Vaginal discharge

  • Yeast infections 

  • Vaginal infections

  • Painful intercourse

  • Urinary frequency 

Common Concerns

  • Fertility

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

  • Endometriosis 

  • Uterine fibroids 

  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

  • Hyperprolactinemia

  • Migraines / Headaches

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Pregnancy

  • Postpartum

  • Perimenopause

  • Menopause

  • Diabetes / Insulin Resistance

  • Metabolic Syndrome

  • Overweight / Obesity 

  • Anxiety

  • Depression 

  • Fibrocystic breasts

  • Ovarian cysts

  • Stress / adrenal dysfunction

  • Infections (i.e. Yeast, HPV, BV)

  • Cervical Dysplasia 

  • Recurrent UTI

  • Lichen Sclerosus

  • Osteoporosis / Osteopenia

  • ... and more  

Digestion
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0digestion

Digestive HEALTH solutions

Optimal digestion is the foundation for good health. It is needed not only for the breakdown and absorption of nutrients but also to link parts of the immune, nervous, and endocrine system together in an intricate way. If your digestive system is not functioning properly, many different aspects of your health may be affected, including your hormones, energy, mood, and skin. Digestive troubles can stem from several underlying factors, so it is Dr. Geil's job to serve as a digestive detective and uncover where the problem specifically lies. She uses both routine and specialized laboratory testing to aid in her diagnosis. Treatments are tailored to your individual needs and may focus on identifying particular foods that you may be sensitive or intolerant to, reducing inflammation, rebalancing the gut microbiome, and supplying the body with nutrients needed to regain function.    

Signs & Symptoms

  • Bloating

  • Constipation 

  • Diarrhea 

  • Abdominal discomfort

  • Cramping

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting 

  • Indigestion

  • Poor appetite 

  • Heartburn

  • Acid reflux 

  • Belching

  • Flatulence/gas

  • Distention

  • Bad breath

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Nutrient deficiencies 

  • Undigested food in stool  

  • Mucus in stool 

  • Blood in stool 

  • Hemorrhoids

  • Fatigue after meals 

  • Weight gain / loss

  • Skin lesions

  • Skin rash 

  • Headaches 

  • Joint pain 

  • Brain fog 

  • Allergies

common conditions

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Celiac disease 

  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

  • Candida / yeast

  • Crohn's disease 

  • Ulcerative Colitis

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) 

  • Food intolerances

  • Food sensitivities

  • "Leaky gut"

  • Hiatal hernia 

  • Parasitic infections

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Dyspepsia

  • Ulcers

  • Gastritis

  • Esophagitis 

  • Gallstones

  • Diverticulosis

  • Fatty liver / NAFLD

  • Chronic pancreatitis

  • H. Pylori infection 

  • Hemorrhoids

  • Eczema

  • Acne 

  • Psoriasis 

  • Autoimmune

general approach

  • Remove​​

    • Geared at eradicating pathogens such as bacteria, yeast, parasites, or viruses with appropriate antimicrobials​ or eliminating food triggers / sensitivities and inflammatory agents such as alcohol, refined sugars, processed foods, or food additives 

  • Replace

    • Centred on restoring digestive function, improving absorption, repleting nutrients and encouraging consumption of anti-inflammatory foods ​

  • Reinoculate

    • Aimed at re-establishing a healthy gut microbiome through the administration of the appropriate type and quantity of pre & probiotics specific to the particular case

  • Repair​​

    • Focused on healing the digestive tract by providing both nutrients and botanicals to repair the integrity of the gut lining and reduce intestinal permeability or "leaky gut" ​

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Thyroid

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integrative thyroid care

The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland that sits at the base of the neck. While small in size, its influence on the body is undeniably powerful. Every cell in the human body is dependent upon the two main thyroid hormones that the gland creates and secretes to function properly. These hormones - thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) - act as the body's main metabolic regulators and affect various physiological processes, from heart rate and temperature to digestion, mood and energy. Dysfunction of the thyroid can lead to a cascade of symptoms affecting virtually every system in the body. It is estimated that 1 in 10 Canadians suffer from a thyroid condition, and of those, as many of 50% are undiagnosed! When managing thyroid concerns, Dr. Geil takes a functional approach that delves deeper into the root causes and includes more than just medication or supplementation. Plans are aimed at optimizing thyroid hormones, reducing inflammation, addressing autoimmunity (if applicable), repleting nutrients needed for thyroid function and ensuring that the foundations that influence the thyroid, such as digestion, stress, sleep, detoxification, and diet/lifestyle are set properly into place. Dr. Geil has prescribing authority in Ontario and can utilize Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) when clinically appropriate.  

hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism

underactive thyroid

Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by insufficient thyroid hormone production from the thyroid gland, stemming either from a dysfunction of the gland itself or from inadequate stimulation of the gland by the brain. It results in an overall deficiency of the thyroid hormones that are needed by the body to function properly. Since every cell type in the body is reliant upon the production of these hormones, a deficiency can impact virtually every system and result in symptoms spanning from head to toe. Thorough testing is important to receive a proper diagnosis and to aid in determining the specific cause or contributing factors.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Fatigue

  • Weakness

  • Weight gain

  • Constipation

  • Hair loss 

  • Headaches

  • Cold intolerance

  • Dry skin

  • Brittle nails

  • Puffiness

  • Low mood

  • Brain fog

  • Hoarseness

  • Muscle aches

  • Joint pain

  • Irregular cycles 

  • Fertility troubles

  • ... and more

various causes

There are many different causes of hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto's (an autoimmune condition), subacute thyroiditis (transiently following exposure to a virus) and postpartum thyroiditis. Thyroidectomy (surgical removal of the gland), past radioactive iodine treatment or radioactive exposure, pituitary or hypothalamic disorders, certain medications, and nutrient deficiency are other leading causes. Aging, hormonal shifts, pregnancy, stress, environmental exposure to pollutants/chemicals and genetic factors, among others, can increase the likelihood of developing low thyroid function.  

hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition characterized by an excessive production or release of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland. This type of imbalance can accelerate the body's metabolic processes and have a direct impact on various bodily functions. If left untreated it can lead to serious complications, including osteoporosis and heart problems. Thus, timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment (tailored to the underlying cause) are crucial to manage it effectively and prevent complications.

overactive thyroid

Signs & Symptoms

  • Fatigue

  • Weight loss

  • Diarrhea 

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • High heart rate

  • Palpitations

  • Shakiness

  • Sweating

  • Heat intolerance

  • Muscle weakness

  • Irritability

  • Restlessness

  • Irregular cycles

  • Loss of cycle

  • ... and more

various causes

There are many different causes of hyperthyroidism, including Graves disease (an autoimmune condition), the initial phase of thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland often stemming from exposure to a virus (subacute thyroiditis), after pregnancy (postpartum thyroiditis) or due to a transient autoimmune mechanism (silent thyroiditis)). It can also be caused by some types of thyroid nodules, growths and tumours (rarely) or from certain medications and excess iodine intake.

Common CONCERNS

  • Hypothyroidism

    • Characterized by a high TSH, low T4 or low T3​

  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

    • The most common cause of hypothyroidism​

    • An autoimmune condition wherein the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, causing destruction and weakening of its function

  • Subclinical Hypothyroidism

    • Characterized by a high TSH with normal or low/normal T4 or T3​

    • Can still present with symptoms despite having conventionally "normal" labs

    • May progress into overt hypothyroidism with time and if risk factors are present 

  • Thyroiditis

    • Postpartum Thyroiditis​

      • Inflammation of the thyroid gland in the postpartum period, typically within the first 6 months of delivery

      • Initially presents with a hyperthyroid state as the inflammation triggers the release of thyroid hormones - oftentimes is missed or brushed off as just being the result of having a newborn 

      • After a few weeks to months it may transition into a hypothyroid state for a period of time before either normalizing or progressing to permanent hypothyroidism ​

    • Subacute Thyroiditis

      • Inflammation of the thyroid gland following exposure to a viral infection ​

      • Often initially presents with neck pain / tenderness and hyperthyroid symptoms and then transitions into hypothyroid state that is usually transient and will usually resolve in time

  • Hyperthyroidism

    • Characterized by a low TSH, high T4 or high T3​

  • Graves Disease

    • The most common cause of hyperthyroidism​

    • An autoimmune condition where the body's immune system mistakenly produces antibodies that act to stimulate the thyroid to make an excess of thyroid hormones 

  • Subclinical Hyperthyroidism

    • Characterized by a low TSH with a normal or high/normal T4 or T3

    • Can still present with symptoms despite having conventionally "normal" labs 

    • May progress into overt hyperthyroidism with time and if risk factors are present 

  • Thyroid Nodules

    • Small growths that develop on the thyroid gland that can range in size, type, and ability to influence thyroid hormone production

    • The majority of nodules are benign and found incidentally however they can be malignant in rare cases​​

  • Thyroid Monitoring

    • Regular monitoring of thyroid function is important, especially while on medication ​

    • May include bloodwork, ultrasound, or other investigations at scheduled intervals 

  • Thyroid Screening

    • Fertility 

      • Thyroid screening during the preconception period aids in improving fertility rates and reducing the risk of pregnancy complications

      • Thyroid dysfunction can significantly impact fertility in both men and women so early detection and timely intervention is of high importance

    • Pregnancy

      • Screening during pregnancy is crucial because thyroid dysfunction can have significant implications on the pregnancy and the development of the baby 

      • The thyroid undergoes several physiological changes during pregnancy due to hormonal shifts and to meet the demands of the growing baby

      • Pre-existing thyroid conditions can also be exacerbated in pregnancy so it is important that it is closely monitored to ensure treatment modifications can be made

comprehensive testing

Since many different factors can ultimately affect the production, conversion, and utilization of thyroid hormones a complete assessment is needed to build a comprehensive and effective plan. In helping you to determine the root causes of your thyroid concerns Dr. Geil is able to access both standard and more in depth testing. An example of some of the more commonly ordered tests are listed below.    

  • TSH

  • Free T4

  • Free T3 

  • Reverse T3

  • Anti TPO Antibodies

  • Anti TG Antibodies

  • TSI / TRAb - for Graves

thyroid tests

  • CBC

  • Ferritin

  • Iron Panel 

  • Vitamin B12

  • Vitamin D (25-OH)

  • Zinc, RBC

  • Selenium, RBC

  • Iodine

nutrient assessment

other If applicable

  • CRP / ESR

  • RF

  • ANA 

  • Celiac

  • Lipid Panel

  • Liver Enzymes

  • Cortisol 

  • Insulin, fasting

  • Glucose, fasting  

  • Stool analysis

  • Food sensitivities  

  • Chronic infections 

  • Environmental - heavy metals, toxins, etc.

Treatment Approach

  • Optimize thyroid hormones through a multifaceted approach

  • Safely complement conventional prescriptions such as Synthroid or antithyroid medications with naturopathic modalities to maximize effectiveness

  • Discuss all available treatment options, including prescription Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) and evidence-based botanicals and nutraceuticals when medically appropriate

  • Address nutrient deficiencies or dietary factors that can influence thyroid function

  • Identify and target root causes that can direct treatment, including autoimmunity, chronic infections, environmental exposure, adrenal dysfunction, nutritional deficiency, gut dysbiosis, and other hormone imbalances

  • Reduce inflammation and modulate immune function if applicable

  • Ensure the foundations for overall thyroid function are set in place, including proper sleep, stress management, nutrition, movement, digestion, and detoxification  

  • Regularly monitor thyroid function and adjust treatment as needed 

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