Archive | October, 2011

Don’t Self Medicate Your Thyroid Hormones: Natural, Synthetic, or Bio-Identical

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, DACNB, Arizona Thyroid Doctor Comments:

I wanted to share a recent experience I had in the office with a patient that was trying to self regulate her thyroid medication.  A woman brought her mother into the office with complaints of brain fog, constipation, hair falling out fatigue, depression, and insomnia.  The daughter had also been diagnosed with low thyroid and was on Natur-Throid, the mother was on Synthroid.

Since the daughter was on a different medication and felt a little better than the mom did, the mom decided to just start taking some of her daughter’s medication.

It was a bad idea!

It is always a bad idea to take someone else’s medication. 

As you can imagine, she felt even worse.  I think it is a bad idea for anyone to self dose medications. If you feel the medication is not working, consult the prescribing physician.  If they change dosages and just can’t find the dosage that alleviates the low thyroid symptoms-like hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, mental fogginess, constipation…… then maybe it is time to take a different look at your low thyroid condition.

The research shows the number one reason people have low thyroid symptoms in the United States is due to an auto immune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  An auto immune condition means that the body has lost its ability for self tolerance.  Meaning, the body cannot tell the difference between its own tissue and foreign invaders.  The body actually attacks itself.  In the case of Hashimoto’, it attacks the thyroid.  It also has a propensity to attack the brain, pancreas, and gut in Hashimoto’s.

Taking thyroid hormones only replaces the hormones that are not being produced due to the destruction of the thyroid gland.  It does nothing to stop the attack of the immune system on the body.  It also does nothing to reduce the cytokines that block the thyroid receptor sites.  When the immune system attacks the body cytokines are released and they block the thyroid receptors.

Here is something to remember:    Every cell in the body has a thyroid receptor site.  Can you see why you can feel so crummy when you are not receiving the proper management of your thyroid?

So now you know why it is important that you don’t self dose your thyroid medication, even if it is natural or bio-identical hormone replacement.  Talk with your doctor before changing dosages.  If you have tried this and you are still suffering with low thyroid symptoms, find a doctor that understands what we just talked about and get the help you need.

If you haven’t requested a copy of our Thyroid Recovery Report that reveals the pieces of the thyroid treatment puzzle that nearly every doctor fails to recognize or acknowledge then simply fill out the form to your right.  

Tired, Sluggish, Brain Fog, Night Sweats … Sound Familiar At All?

Tired, Sluggish, Brain Fog, Night Sweats … does any of those symptoms sound familiar to you? Like most patient’s with Hashimoto’s disease the standard treatment is protocol is simple and flawed. You get Synthroid or some other form of thyroid replacement until your lab values appear normal and ALL other symptoms are ignored or attributed to some sort of psychiatric condition.

It was no different for this patient except she finally became proactive and consulted with the Heimlich Institute. Watch as she explains how her life has changed positively since starting our program.

Fill out the form to the right to request our Thyroid Recovery Report and learn how we are able to help patient’s like this when traditional Endocrinologists and family practitioners had failed.


Low Thyroid Symptoms and Antidepressants

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, DACNB, Scottsdale Thyroid Doctor Comments:
depression It seems like every other new patient that comes in to our clinic asks me why they were prescribed antidepressants by their doctor when they went in for a thyroid problem.   Often the patient will tell me that they are not even depressed, just frustrated and tired of chasing the other symptoms of hypothyroidism.

You know what I am talking about.  Symptoms like being tired, sluggish, needing excessive amounts of sleep, weight gain, difficult bowel movements, hair loss, dry skin and mental sluggishness.

If you have been watching my videos and following the blog then you know the number one reason for low thyroid is an auto immune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  (Check out my other posts if this is new information to you)

Here is an excerpt from a recent study that I found on medscape titled “Antidepressants Given With No Psychiatric Diagnoses”:

August 5, 2011 — Antidepressant prescribing by nonpsychiatrist providers in the United States has increased substantially in recent years, according to a report released today.

What’s particularly “worrisome,” say the report’s authors, is that a “large and growing” proportion of antidepressant prescribing by nonpsychiatrists happens without an accompanying psychiatric diagnosis.

“Many of the patients who are receiving these medications are dealing with the stresses of life or physical illness, and there is no evidence that antidepressants are effective in these groups of patients,” lead author Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, MPH, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, said in a statement.

They went on to say that the percentage of visits at which antidepressants were prescribed but no psychiatric diagnosis was noted rose to 72.7% in 2007.

So to answer the question of why you were prescribed antidepressants if you were not depressed is “I don’t know.”  It appears from the research that it is a growing trend.

What about the patients that are depressed, have low thyroid symptoms, and are already on antidepressants?   Should they be on antidepressants?  If they are on them then they should NOT stop taking them without the guidance of the prescribing physician.

Some of you may be scratching your head wondering why I would recommend to keep taking your meds, especially after watching the testimonials of our patients that no longer have to take them after starting care with us.  Sure many antidepressants have side effects, but coming off of them without supervision from the prescribing physician could be disastrous.

I am not anti-meds.  I am anti-medications if you don’t need them.  Our country is over medicated.  I tell all of our patients that the power that created the body can heal the body.  We just have to find out what is keeping it from doing its job.

That’s why we get the success we do here in the clinic.  We look at the body as a whole and gather all the pieces of the patient’s health puzzle to determine how we can get their body to heal itself through natural methods.

Check back soon because I will be starting a mini-series soon expanding on my previous post concerning the connection between the brain and the thyroid.

Why did my thyroid gland stop working and die?

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, DACNB, Scottsdale Thyroid Doctor Comments:
Question MarkI just had another patient come in and ask me this?  People all across the country are being told on a daily basis that their thyroid gland just died or stopped working.  Some patients just accept this without question.  Others ask how this could happen.

The usual response by their doctor is that it is just something that happens.  Almost as if the thyroid gland was a light switch that could just be turned off.

Thyroid glands do not just stop working and die for no apparent reason.  It is usually a slow process that takes years until one day you go to your doctor continuing to complain of thyroid symptoms and they run a TSH and you get the bad news.

It is well published that the number one cause for thyroid dysfunction is an auto immune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  This means that the body has lost self tolerance.

It attacks healthy thyroid tissue and destroys it as if it was a foreign invader.  This destruction leads to less and less of healthy thyroid tissue leading to less release of the needed hormones.  It is estimated that 85-95% of all people with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Most people have never heard of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Even though it is the most common reason for hypothyroidism, it is rarely ever checked.  Part of that is because it is considered as “waste” of resources in the HMO medical insurance model.   There is no reason to test for it if you are not going to treat it any differently than primary hypothyroidism.

The standard medical treatment is to give hormone replacement until the thyroid gland “dies” or “burns out” and then keep the patient on thyroid meds because they no longer are able to produce their own.

There are few flaws to that type of treatment.

First, the majority of time the thyroid gland is not the only tissue that is being attacked by the body.  Research shows that areas in the brain, gut, and pancreas have a high prevalence of being attacked in patients with Hashimoto’s.  Taking thyroid hormone replacement does nothing for the attack and destruction of these tissues.

Second, it does not address the attack on the thyroid gland.  It just replaces what the gland is no longer able to release.  The thyroid gland is left defenseless against the auto immune process that is destroying it.  Another reason this treatment has a flaw is because it does not address the cytokines that block the thyroid receptor sites.

This means that even though you are taking the medications, they may not be able to be bound to the sites they are intended to because a cytokine is blocking it.  This, along with the above reasons is why the patient can still feel terrible even though they are taking their medications as prescribed.

So if you have been told your thyroid gland died or stopped working, ask your doctor to explain why.   Make sure you have had the proper testing including a complete thyroid panel and thyroid antibody tests run.  The antibody tests will catch 80-90% of the patients with Hashimoto’s.  From reading my other posts you know there is other blood work and testing that needs to be done as well to check how the rest of your body is functioning and how it relates to your thyroid and overall health.

I realize that you should not have to educate your doctor on this information, but in today’s medical insurance model you have to take more responsibility for your own health than ever before.  The alternative is to find a doctor that knows this information and can help guide you and educate you on how to maximize your health.

If you haven’t requested and read my special report on low thyroid then fill out the form to your right. It goes into great detail about how we are able to help so many thyroid patients get lasting relief.

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Why did my thyroid gland stop working?