Thyroid Care in Austin, Texas

Nationally recognized thyroid treatments

Nutrition is only one part of the picture for achieving optimal health. A fully personalized program for optimal health includes an evaluation of an individual’s hormonal needs throughout all stages of life, especially as we age.

Dr. Ruthie Harper offers innovative diagnostic and treatment methods for patients experiencing hormonal issues. She has a personal passion for helping patients due to how 1 in 10 women is currently living with an undiagnosed thyroid condition.

What does the thyroid do?

The thyroid functions to control mood, energy, metabolism, cholesterol balance, brain function, weight loss, and fertility. It’s also critical to beauty by managing the quality of one’s hair, skin, and nails.

This butterfly-shaped organ is located at the front of the neck secretes thyroid hormones which are used for a wide range of effects in the body, such as:

Maintaining the metabolic rate in the body by influencing appetite and the absorption of substances. They allow for the breakdown of glucose, increase absorption in the gut, and allow for the breakdown of fats.

Influence the cardiovascular system by increasing the rate of the body’s heartbeat, the rate of breathing, and the consumption of oxygen.

Maintain normal sexual function including the libido and a regular menstrual system.

The thyroid gland represents a perfect example of how one’s hormonal system interacts with every other system in the body to orchestrate optimal health. Virtually every cell in the body has a receptor for thyroid hormone meaning that optimal thyroid hormone levels will affect every aspect of an individual’s health and well being.

What happens if I have thyroid problems?

Thyroid problems can be caused by a wide variety of issues, including genetics, pregnancy, stress, nutritional deficiencies, or an autoimmune attack.

An over or under-active thyroid can lead to:

Gaining weight which could be slowing down metabolic rates in your body.

Dry, brittle hair or hair loss in the head or all over the body.

Feelings of exhaustion which can cause you to feel tired all day, even after a full night’s sleep.

Feelings of depression as a result of too little thyroid hormones within your body. It’s believed that this could affect the levels of serotonin in the brain.

An increase in appetite or a change in taste or smell, leading to an increased feeling of hunger.

Change in libido which could mean less of a desire to have sex with your partner.

Change in your period which could mean more intense menstrual periods with heavier flow and stronger cramps, irregular period cycles, and even lighter symptoms.

An altered sleep schedule resulting in you being unable to sleep (hyperthyroidism) or an increased desire to sleep (hypothyroidism).

Forms of thyroid diseases to look out for

Thyroid nodules

An abnormal growth on the thyroid is common. In fact, half of all people over the age of 60 will have a growth of some kind, although most (90%) are benign. However, determining if they could lead to thyroid cancer is important.


An under-active thyroid means that the amount of hormones in the body is too small. This ultimately causes several of the body’s functions to slow down and cause feelings of coldness, being tired, depression, constipation, depression, or dryer skin. Treatments usually include taking a pill to regulate levels of hormones in the body.


An overactive thyroid can result in too many hormones which could result in feelings of anxiousness, irritability, heart palpitations, losing weight, and having brittle hair. Treatment varies by age so going for a diagnosis is a great first step.


An abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, although having a goiter is not a sign that something is wrong. It simply signals that there is a condition causing the organ to grow abnormally.


Thyroiditis is a general term used to describe the inflammation of the gland. This can include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, postpartum thyroiditis, or subacute thyroiditis.

Thyroid cancer

A malignant tumor found on the thyroid gland. It’s relatively uncommon compared to other forms of cancer, however, it comes in several types including:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer
  • Follicular thyroid cancer
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer

How can Dr. Ruthie Harper help me with my thyroid problems?

Dr. Harper has a record of successful treatments for thyroid dysfunction using integrative health techniques, being named on of the top 10 best thyroid doctors in the state of Texas. Her approach is successful because of how the thyroid is so interconnected with other systems in the body.

Even more interesting are Dr. Harper’s recent scientific discoveries that every other organ system will have an impact on how the thyroid gland works. This affects how much thyroid hormone is made, if the hormone is converted to its most active forms, and if the body is able to use it effectively.

Rarely recognized are the effects of reproductive hormones, stress hormone, and nutrition on optimal thyroid function. Dr. Harper uses in-depth testing of all thyroid hormone levels (TSH, Total T4, Free T4, Free T3, and Reverse T3) and combines with with other diagnostic and nutritional testing to provide a comprehensive and effective approach.

Call Ruthie Harper, MD today at (512) 343-9355 for more information!

Treat Your Thyroid Condition