​Donald K. Liebell, DC, BCAO

477 Viking Drive Suite 170

Virginia Beach VA 23452 
8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F 

(By Appointment Tu, Sat) 


The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions

Natural & holistic, whole-person, wellness-based Healthcare - Drug-Free & Non-Surgical Pain Relief


​​​      I'm here to help, and I'll be glad to personally answer your questions.  Please type your first name in the box on the contact form.  Please check the box to receive email updates to give me permission to correspond with you by email, and type your question in the message box.  

   I respond to questions in the order I receive them, 

usually within 1-3 business days.  My responses are for

general information only, and must not be considered as

advice for specific medical treatment or diagnosis

.   For appointments, please call my office at: (757) 631-9799.  

     Your email address or other information is confidential; I will never share it with anyone, nor will it be used for any form of solicitation.   I look forward to your questions! 

The Diagnosis and Management

of Thyroid ​Disorders

   By Dr. Donald Liebell

   If you suffer from chronic fatigue and pain… this may be one of the most important articles you’ve ever read.  If you have a hard time getting up in the morning… you need coffee , Coke or Pepsi to rev yourself up in the morning (or to pep up during the day)… if you’re struggling to cope with stress… if you feel tired for no good reason… if your sex drive has decreased… your hands are cold... your skin and hair are of poor quality...

   You may be suffering from a thyroid gland problem.  

   In my opinion impaired thyroid function is more common, and more complex than doctors are suggesting.  It is one of several common and under-diagnosed causes of chronic fatigue, pain and a host of other symptoms.  If you need coffee, colas, and other stimulate beverages to get yourself going in the morning or to pep yourself up to function during the day… you may be suffering from low thyroid function.  

   Your thyroid gland is essential for proper metabolism and body weight.  Its normal function is also critical for chronic pain conditions.  One may receive a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or have multiple joint and muscle pains, yet a thyroid imbalance may be a big part of the problem.  It is unfortunately a problem that may go undiagnosed.  The following are possible symptoms of thyroid malfunction:

  • Low energy
  • Problems with skin, hair and nails
  • Fatigue
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Constipation
  • Low sex drive
  • Irregular menstrual periods or infertility 
  • Memory problems
  • Fluid retention
  • Thin or absent outer eyebrows
  • Low body temperature

   When your thyroid gland is underactive (hypothyroid), it does not produce enough thyroid hormone.  Your diet and overall health lifestyle play an important role in proper thyroid function.  Unfortunately, many physicians merely prescribe drugs such as Synthroid to handle thyroid problems.  

   What’s worse is that many doctors only consider you to have a thyroid problem if your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is outside of the so-called normal range.  In my opinion, many accepted medical standards for healthy or normal are pitifully outdated and inaccurate.  Besides, they change them constantly.  I believe in treatment that is based on the PATIENT, rather than a blood test!
 Your Thyroid Gland

   The thyroid gland is located in the front part of your neck.  It s part of your endocrine system—your hormone producer.  Hormones work with all other hormones throughout your body.  Since all hormones interact together, a troubled thyroid gland can affect you in many ways.  You can feel lousy all over if you thyroid is “shot.”  Many a person diagnosed with fibromyalgia has an underlying thyroid problem, and/or an adrenal gland malfunction.
   Your thyroid gland must produce balanced levels of two hormones, called T3 and T4.  Their balance can be thrown off by many things.  Bad nutrition is a huge factor.  A diet high in the wheat protein, gluten, as well as soy (yes, soy can be BAD for you!), are particularly important.  

   Foods such as dark greens, nuts, sea vegetables, carrots and coconut oil may be very helpful.  It is very important to drink pure water and get plenty of sunshine.  Other factors that interfere with thyroid function include environmental toxins, stress, allergies and infections.  

   Although I don’t always agree with other physician's approach to diagnosing and treating people with thyroid problems; I do recommend certain standard lab tests as a starting point.  The tests include:

  • High-sensitivity Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) 
  • Total T4 (Thyroxine)
  • Total T3 (Triiodothyronine)
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • T3 Uptake
  • Reverse T3
  • Autoimmune Test: Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Antibodies
  • Autoimmune Test: Anti-thyroglobulin Antibodies


   Remember that you could still have thyroid trouble, even if your test results are considered “normal.”

   You should always have options of how you want to handle your health.
 I do not prescribe medications.  I am not an endocrinologist, nor do I directly treat the thyroid in the traditional medical-legal sense.  I do utilize bio-energetic supplementation and acupuncture, as well as diet and lifestyle changes to support better thyroid, and total body health. 

  If there’s reason to consider prescription thyroid medication, I recommend seeing a medical doctor who will consider bio-identical hormones such as Armour Thyroid, and not just Synthroid.  You should research these medications on your own on the Internet as well.
  In my practice I advocate a complementary and holistic approach.  I do NOT suggest or take any involvement in the prescription or removal of medications of any kind. Medications are an issue for you to only discuss with your prescribing physician, if applicable.  

   If you feel you may be suffering from low thyroid function, make sure you find a doctor who understands this condition.  If you'd like details about my practice philosophy (integrated medicine), Click HERE.  

Dr. Donald Liebell