Naturopathic Case Study: Hypothyroid, Lethargy, Headaches


  • Patient – female, diagnosed with hypothyroidism several years ago, for which medication is taken.
  • Symptoms – generally feeling unwell, with ongoing lethargy and headaches.
  • The case history suggested a diet that may not be providing an appropriate balance of nutrients when considering the patient as an individual. The patient had been generally following what she considered to be a ‘healthy diet’ but was experiencing food cravings.
  • Protocol – the ‘one-size-fits-all’ ‘healthy diet’ is unrealistic. With the exception of identical twins, each individual has a unique set of genes. Our experiences, such as diet and lifestyle, trigger changes in the way our genes react. As in biochemical terms we are ‘individual’, a diet that is personalised to the individual is likely to be beneficial to health.
  • The naturopathic approach is to ‘educate the client’, thereby providing the client with information that will enable him / her to make appropriate dietary and lifestyle (where possible) choices. It was explained to the patient why she might ‘crave’ certain foods, and alternatives were suggested.
  • Outcome – the patient considered the naturopathic practitioner gave her a level of attention she hadn’t previously experienced. Within a short time of incorporating the dietary changes she felt more satiated and more energetic. She reported that she felt inspired by the consultation and more capable of taking charge of her own wellbeing.
  • A naturopathic assessment takes into account the web-like interconnection of the body’s organs and systems; it will aim to identify initiating factors, rather than directing therapy at individual symptoms.
  • Members of the General Naturopathic Council can often provide self-help to improve your health.

This case is real and verifiable. To protect confidentiality, the client’s name has not been used.

by Jackie Day ND MH DNI