Have you ever noticed that thyroid always seems to be the buzz word when we think something is wrong with us? It is thyroid causing my weight gain, or it is my thyroid that is making my nails break,it is my thyroid ….it is my thyroid….it is my thyroid.
The thyroid gland and thyroid disease is a complex and multi-layer entity that is often under diagnosed and under treated. But starting a thyroid medication is NOT always the answer.
In this article, we are going to focus on Hypothyroidism: underfunctioning of the thyroid gland. Being diagnosed with hypothyroid myself at the age of 28, it has been a journey of discovery and learning.
Being one of the master regulators of body metabolism, symptoms of low thyroid function generate a global response. Symptoms include:
- Fatigue and low energy, with need for daytime nap
- Depressed, down, or sad
- Skin that becomes dry, scaly, rough, and cold
- Hair becomes coarse, brittle, and grow slow
- Excessive unexplained hair loss
- Sensitivity to cold in a room when others are warm
- Difficulty in sweating despite hot weather
- Constipation that is resistant to magnesium supplementation
- Difficulty in loosing weight
- Unexplained weight gain
- High cholesterol resistant to cholesterol lowering drugs
A popular way of diagnosing hypothyroidism is using basal body temperature. Dr. Broda Barnes, M.D, popularized this test. While using basal body temperature can be better than using the standard thyroid function test, it comes with certain disadvantages, including:
- Falsely elevated temperature when sleeping under eclectic blanket
- Poor compliance
- Accurate thermometer required
Most clinicians rely on blood test instead. The traditional laboratory tests used to diagnose hypothyroidism are:
- Total T4
- Total T3 and Free T3
- Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody
- TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
Research reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in February of 1999 found that a majority of patients, however, might feel better on a combination of hormones such as combination of T3 and T4 instead of single T4 alone. I feel and understand the frustration that this condition brings. My field of research and experience in Hypothyroidism has led me to places where the eyes don’t see but where the body can only feel.
Stand up with integrity and take control knowing that you are not alone. Let’s get the conversation started and as I pass on to you what I have learned, I hope each and everyone of you will share with your friend next to you what you know and let’s create the circle of courage, strength and the power of knowledge.