5 Common Mistakes When It Comes To Treatment For Low Thyroid.
Dr Richard Hagmeyer, Naperville Intitute For NeuroMetabolic Soltuions specializes in Functional Integrative Medicine and natural holistic treatment methods for Thyroid problems, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Weigth loss, Neuropathy, IBS, Headaches and Migraines and Male/Female Hormone Imbalances.
Whether it’s the family doctor, endocrinologist, or chinese herbalist you have been seeing for your thyroid, you may not be getting the straight information regarding your thyroid.
Here are five very common myths and bits of misinformation that you are very likely to hear, along with the real story you need to know.
5. Your Levels are Normal
First, what does “normal” mean. A few years ago, the medical community went by the standard that .5 to 5.0 on the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood test was the normal range. If your TSH was below .5, you were hyperthyroid/overactive. If your TSH was above 5.0, you were hypothyroid/underactive. More recently, however, both the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the The National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry’s “Laboratory Medicine Practice Guidelines,” have recommended that the normal range be revised.
So when a doctor tells you your levels are “normal” — ask what “normal range” he/she is actually using to make that determination. Is he using a functional lab range ( TSH 1.8 to 3.0) or is he using the standard ranges for TSH( .5-5.0)
4. If You Have a Thyroid Problem, Take Iodine or Kelp
I see this well-meaning mistake being made almost daily! Walk into a health food store and tell the clerk you have a thyroid problem and you most likely will be told, “thyroid problems mean you need iodine” unfortunately, natural health practitioners, Chinese Herbalist, the health food clerks, and the well-meaning next door neighbor who sells Amway vitamin supplements, even worse Iodine loading will be quick to recommend kelp, bladderwrack and bugleweed or Iodine loading as a remedy to your problem. BEWARE !!!!!
Research shows as much as 90% of those with Thyroid disease suffer from something much more serious called an autoimmune condition. Taking iodine in this situation could be very dangerous and initiate an advanced immune system attack destroying more of your thyroid gland.
But for some people, iodine or iodine-containing products may cause enlargement of the thyroid (goiter). Before you start iodine, you will need to determine if you have an autoimmune Thyroid. This requires additional testing to be performed and is not part of the standard thyroid screening test.
3. You Have Graves’ Disease/Hyperthyroidism and Need Radioactive Iodine (RAI) Treatment
Hashimoto’s auto immune Thyroid is much more common than Graves Disease and it has caused many women to undergo unnecessary RAI treatment. Radioactive Iodine Treatment is used to kill the overactive Thyroid. What many doctors fail to realize is that in the early stages of Hashimoto’s disease the thyroid is in the process of being destroyed by the immune system.
This destruction to the Thyroid Gland causes a “spill over” of Thyroid hormone that cause a hyperthyroid state. I am always suspicious when a patient comes to our office and after reviewing their history of hormones, we see a TSH and thyroid hormones that rollercoaster. Sometimes, it’s the temporary hyperthyroidism symptoms — anxiety, heart palpitations, fast pulse, weight loss, diarrhea, insomnia — that first bring a Hashimoto’s patient to the doctor. Unfortunately for many thyroid sufferers, most doctors run just the thyroid screening blood work. This includes a TSH and a T4.
For these thyroid sufferers the low TSH that is characteristic of hyperthyroidism, will often prompt radioactive iodine treatment — this treatment permanently disables the thyroid, and renders the patient hypothyroid for life. You can read more about the 6 patterns of Thyroid disease here.
The problem is, the patient doesn’t suffer from Graves’ disease and the hyperthyroidism is just temporary “Hashitoxicosis” — and the patient is ultimately on his or her way to becoming hypothyroid. In some cases, then, unless the hyperthyroidism was life-threatening and uncontrollable using drugs, the expensive radiation treatment — whose side effects are still being debated — is needless administered.
If you are told that you have Graves’ Disease or hyperthyroidism, and are rushed to have RAI, insist on blood tests for various antibodies, as well as imaging tests, to demonstrate that you do indeed have Graves’/hyperthyroidism, and are not just experiencing temporary Hashitoxicosis.
2. Basal Body Temperature Can Diagnose Hypothyroidism
Here is a situation where a clinical sign — low body temperature, has been turned into a “one size fits all” diagnostic tool that simply doesn’t work. It’s medically known that thyroid hormones have a direct effect on the basal, or resting, metabolic rate. And while hypothermia, or lowered body temperature, is a known and medically accepted symptom of hypothyroidism, some practitioners believe that body temperature is an infallible diagnostic tool.
The late Broda Barnes, M.D., made the public more widely aware of the use of axillary (underarm) basal body temperature (BBT) as a symptom and diagnostic tool for hypothyroidism. It is a diagnostic and monitoring method still used by some complementary and alternative practitioners. Again here there are many conditions that can cause low basal temperature and trying to fit everyone into a hypothyroid mold because of a low body temperature is flat out wrong. I see doctors putting people on Armour without any testing using only Basal Body Temperature.
1. The Only way to Treat Hypothyroidism Is With Synthroid
Perhaps one of the most common fallacies doctors regularly repeat is that Synthroid is the only treatment for hypothyroidism. Actually, Synthroid is a brand name for the drug “levothyroxine” — a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine, also known as T4.
Synthroid happens to be the top-selling levothyroxine drug — primarily due to its marketing influence on physicians and their organizations, as well as relationships with distributors and insurers.
Other brands, considered equally effective by many practitioners, and almost always less expensive, include Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid.
Some patients find that they respond best to a one brand — not necessarily Synthroid — due to the way that brand dissolves and is absorbed, or the fillers and dyes used by the different manufacturers. Often the fillers can be a problem because they contain gluten or gluten cross reactive foods.
In addition to the levothyroxine drugs, there is also liotrix, the generic name for the brand name drug Thyrolar. Thyrolar is levothyroxine and liothyronine (the synthetic form of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine, or T3). The addition of the T3 to this drug makes it an optimal drug for some thyroid patients who need that additional hormone in order to resolve symptoms and feel well. Liothyronine is also available as a separate prescription pill, known by its brand name Cytomel.
Finally, there is the category of prescription drugs known as natural thyroid. Don’t mistake these with over-the-counter glandular thyroid supplements — they are not the same. Prescription natural desiccated thyroid — the primary brand being Armour Thyroid, but also available are Biotech and Nature-throid — is made from the dried thyroid gland of pigs. It includes natural T4 and T3, plus other less understood thyroid hormones including T2, T1. Some practitioners, and in particular holistic, integrative and natural health experts, find that natural thyroid is optimal for some patients natural health practitioners who don’t truly understand thyroid function are often quick to tell you that “thyroid problems mean you need iodine” or iodine-containing herbs or supplements, such as kelp, bladderwrack and bugleweed.
If you are truly iodine deficient, iodine may be able to help your thyroid. One study done in 1998 found that over the past twenty years, the percentage of Americans with low intake of iodine has more than quadrupled. Currently about 12 percent of the U.S. population is iodine deficient, up from less than 3 percent in the early 1970s. So, for some people, iodine deficiency may be a factor in their thyroid problem.
But for some people, iodine or iodine-containing products worsen autoimmune thyroid problems, both Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease, and cause enlargement of the thyroid (goiter). Before you start iodine, you will need to have the antibodies run for both Hashimoto’s and Graves. Even then I am still careful about the use of Iodine.
Natural Thyroid Treatment Offers Real Hope and Real Solutions To Those Men and women who fail to respond to Synthroid, Levoxyl and other medications.
Most patients who continue to suffer with Thyroid problems will greatly benefit from Natural Thyroid Treatment. Natural Thyroid treatment is a distinct departure from conventional treatment in that it will utilize some of the most advanced tests available. FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by medical specialties.
Everything is interwoven and interconnected. At the Naperville Institute For NeuroMetabolic Solutions we call this the “BIG Picture” Some of Root causes of Thyroid disease has its roots in metabolic disturbances.
Some of these include;
1. Proper Neurological function (Brain Body Connection),
2. Environmental factors (toxins),
3. Nutritional imbalances (poor diet including sugar, caffeine, hyrogenated fats), (Food Intolerances and sensitivities, FODMAPS),
4. Hormonal imbalances (too much insulin, low blood sugar, a low thyroid or adrenal exhaustion, male and female sex hormone imbalances),
5. Inflammation (swelling),
6. Impaired metabolism (any breakdown in the way our bodies make and runs the energy pathways)
7. Oxidative stress (the “rusting,” broadly speaking, of our own tissues),
8. Impaired detoxification(any inability to rid our bodies of toxins), and the damage that comes from high levels of stress, brain body connection (where the mind harms the body.)
The functional medicine approach can help find a solution to problems that other doctors either cannot figure out, or are simply prescribing medications to treat the symptoms.
Other Top Read Articles By Dr Hagmeyer
- Naperville Thyroid Doctor|6 Warning Signs Your Thyroid Problem Is Being Mismanaged.
- Naperville Natural Thyroid Treatment| Can It really work by Dr Richard Hagmeyer
- 5 Reasons Why You Shouldnt Self-Treat Your Thyroid| Dr Richard Hagmeyer
- Hypothyroidism? Ask your Doctor To Run These Antibody Tests. It Can be a Total Game Changer.
- Natural Thyroid Treatment Requires Healthy Blood Sugar Balance. Chicago IL. Dr Richard Hagmeyer.