About Integrative Endocrinology

Dr. Marla Barkoff

Dr. Marla Barkoff is a board-certified Endocrinologist with over a decade of experience caring for patients with thyroid disease. Her unique approach combines evidence-based medicine with personal compassion, focusing on quality of life as an important factor in thyroid regulation.  She is dedicated to helping people understand and achieve thyroid balance, especially in the areas of autoimmunity and fertility.

Dr. Barkoff developed a passion for thyroid health during her medical training at Brown University.  She was determined to figure out how to combine her love for the thyroid gland with her background in health care research in Africa.  She volunteered with UNICEF to study the impact of iodine nutrition on thyroid health in Ghana, West Africa {click here to read about her experience}.  Studying the connection between worldwide iodine deficiency and permanent thyroid dysfunction inspired her to devote her career to understanding and treating thyroid diseases.

She was accepted into the Thyroid Study Unit at the University of Chicago where she investigated rare thyroid hormone mutations and the underlying thyroid autoimmunity.  She became fascinated by the genetic and environmental triggers of autoimmune thyroid disease.  After fellowship, she focused her career on building unique endocrine and thyroid study programs at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Illinois at Chicago {click here to read about UI Care Award}.

In 2016, after struggling to get a diagnosis and comprehensive care for her own autoimmune diseases, she decided to open Integrative Endocrinology.  Her vision was to create a practice where patients could be heard and cared for with both intellect and empathy. She feels honored to combine her vast clinical and research experience to help patients realize that hope and healing are possible.

Integrative Endocrinology Approach

Dr. Barkoff’s unique philosophy of thyroid balance combines elements of traditional Endocrinology with a whole-body integrative approach. She doesn’t just treat the disease, but also focuses on why the patient is affected by the disease.  Dr. Barkoff explores, in a non-judgmental way, all the triggers or stressors that have activated the thyroid or autoimmune process. Understanding what is happening is the first step in regaining control of one’s health, so she is dedicated to educating her patients about the biology of their disease.  She also recognizes that it’s necessary to explore other possible causes of symptoms and suffering, and believes strongly that patients are not complaining, they are simply explaining.

Dr. Barkoff is very passionate about being an Endocrinologist, but through her own autoimmune struggles, she found that traditional medicine alone was not enough to completely heal.  She discovered that Endocrine health is intimately connected to immune system balance, and she targets ways to reduce overall inflammation. She believes that to maximize thyroid health outcomes, a person’s immune system, reproductive plans, and nutrition must be evaluated and balanced. In reviewing her recommendations and treatment options, Dr. Barkoff forms a partnership with her patients to make sure the treatment plan works for the individual patient and lifestyle.