In Just 8 Short Weeks This Hashimoto’s Patient Has
- Lost 10 pounds
- Had her eyebrows grow back
- Eliminated her back pain
- And is no longer tired all the time
In Just 8 Short Weeks This Hashimoto’s Patient Has
Being treated for an underactive thyroid, but still suffering with thyroid symptoms…is a surprisingly common occurrence in people with low thyroid conditions and it can be extremely frustrating.
Most of our patients that come in with complaints of low thyroid symptoms are already on medication for their low thyroid condition. They had a blood test that came back with a high TSH, meaning low thyroid function, and they were put on thyroid medication. Some felt better for a little while, then the symptoms came back. (We call this the hormone honeymoon) Others never felt any better and continue to suffer with the fatigue, constipation, anxiety, brain fog, depression, weight gain, and all the other symptoms that go along with thyroid disorders.
This may sound familiar to you. You go in and complain you still feel like crud, and the doctor tells you that your thyroid is fine because the labs now tell them it is OK. But you don’t feel OK. You are still suffering, and frustrated.
It means you need to find a doctor that will listen to you, and has the knowledge to dig deeper and find the root cause of why you are still feeling crummy.
There are many reasons why you can still feel crummy. The #1 cause of still feeling that was is a condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
This means that the number one cause for low thyroid n America is an autoimmune attack. Here are some examples of other autoimmune conditions: MS, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus.
Meaning—your immune system has turned on you and is targeting your thyroid…and is killing it…. and that’s what’s causing you to be low thyroid.
And taking thyroid hormones will NOT do anything for this attack. You will continue to lose more and more of your thyroid.
But the standard of care for that is giving you thyroid hormones. I think you probably understand now that this not a thyroid hormone problem. That’s not the battle. The battle is an immune system battle; an autoimmune battle.
What most doctors are going to do for Hashimoto’s is monitor your TSH–thyroid stimulating hormone –level. They’re going to try to make it stay within a certain numerical range,—but that’s going to fluctuate all over the place and it’s not really getting to the problem.
The immune system will NOT only attack the thyroid, but it will start attacking the cells in the lining of your stomach that help you to be able to absorb B-12. When this happens you’ll end up getting pernicious anemia. Since 80% of neurotransmitters are created in the stomach, you can also get brain fog, memory loss, and other neurological symptoms.
The brain is also targeted by the immune system. It likes to attack the cerebellum. You can end up having vertigo, dizziness, and balance problems.
The immune system also attacks your pancreas and can make you start having diabetic symptoms, insulin problems, and adrenal issues.
Since every cell in the body has a thyroid receptor site, any part of your body can be attacked when the immune system no longer can tell what is friend and what it foe.
When most patients suffering from low thyroid symptoms learn about the autoimmune attack on the body, it makes perfect sense to them. It makes sense because that is how they feel. Like their body is being attacked.
Focusing the clinical management on slowing and modulating the autoimmune attack is crucial in Hashimoto’s Disease. How can you have a properly functioning thyroid if the body is continually attacking and killing it?
A functional approach to naturally supporting and modulating the immune system in autoimmune cases is the best way to help the body slow down or stop the attack on itself. Natural management of autoimmune conditions is complex. Support that is specific to the individual immune system is essential if you truly want to help Hashimoto’s Disease.
You have to find out how their immune system has shifted. Our immune systems have two parts: TH-1 and a TH-2. They are supposed to be balanced. If they are not, then we have a problem.
You have to find out which one of those has become abnormally dominant and why.
Is it because of an antigen? –something that the immune system has been trying to kill for so long that it’s increased its immune attack on this antigen and then it flipped the scales and now we have an autoimmune condition.
Or has the immune system become imbalanced because of disregulation. Hormonal surges can do this. Stress can do this. Blood sugar problems. Inflammation can do this.
So if you know someone that’s suffering with Hashimoto’s, or with low thyroid, and they don’t feel any better – even with thyroid medication – it is time to get them some help.
It’s time to find someone who can investigate this further.
There are millions of you out there right now that have this problem and you don’t know it.
It’s why you still have thyroid symptoms even though you’re taking medication–you have an autoimmune condition (whether diagnosed correctly or not).
If you’re still suffering from underactive thyroid symptoms even though you’re being treated and told by your doctor that your thyroid is fine, there’s a high probability that something’s been missed in your diagnosis. The only way to discover what is “missing” with your diagnosis is through a comprehensive reevaluation.
Don’t suffer any more. Find a doctor that knows what we just talked about.
A research study published in December 2012 sheds some light on a phenomenon we see often …
A patient has elevated TSH but normal T4 and T3.
If that person also has symptoms of fatigue do they have hypothyroidism?
By standard definition any elevation of TSH indicates hypothyroidism. Usually this elevated level of TSH corresponds with a decrease in T4. That is the way it normally works in the body.
In this case it may not be a thyroid problem at all.
One of the things we look at in all our patients is dysglycemia (abnormal blood sugar).
Many thyroid patients have undiagnosed pre-diabetes and as this newly published article points out, pre-diabetes can lead to elevations in TSH.
And guess what?
Pre-diabetes causes many of the same symptoms as low thyroid.
So most patients that go to the doctor with fatigue and the doctor sees elevated TSH then they immediately get put on thyroid hormone.
The underlying blood sugar problem never gets fully investigated and the patient continues to suffer with symptoms because a lab marker was treated and not the patient.
That is why we take a whole person approach and make sure we understand the problems and mechanisms so we can help our patients feel and function well.
Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Nov-Dec; 16(6): 958–961. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.102999
Without a doubt the most common question that I get on a day to day basis is:
“My thyroid was removed by my doctor X number of years ago but I still have symptoms. Is there any way you can help me?”
There are two reasons why people typically have their thyroid removed:
Regardless of why the thyroid gland was removed what happens is that you immediately become hypothyroid after the surgery or radioactive iodine treatment.
You no longer have a gland to produce hormones on your own so you would forever be dependent on external thyroid hormones like Synthroid or Armour. That is a fact and there is nothing that can be done to change THAT aspect.
But what happens when taking the hormone doesn’t resolve the symptoms of low thyroid?
What if you continue to have weight and metabolism issues, hair loss, brain fog, and fatigue no matter how much or which thyroid hormone you take?
If you still have low thyroid symptoms then we know that there is another culprit that is affecting your ability to use those hormones. Until we discover what that culprit is and change/fix it, you will always struggle with those symptoms.
So if you have had your thyroid removed and you still have symptoms then you need our type of functional approach more than anybody.
Our functional approach gets to the root causes of the symptoms and will help you feel and function better. We will discover what is interfering with you ability to use the thyroid hormone that you are taking every day.
Unfortunately, it is very common to have symptoms of underactive thyroid, but not be diagnosed.
I just had another patient come in and ask me why that was. She is a 70 year old female, that after 8 years of complaining to her doctors, decided to make a change an “alternative” healthcare practitioner and get diagnosed.
She, like you probably, had done some research on low thyroid or come across some information on this health condition while researching for why she had these symptoms.
Underactive or low thyroid symptoms include: depression, low energy levels or extreme fatigue, an inability to lose weight, feeling sluggish, hair loss, and depression. People with low thyroid can also suffer from gas, diarrhea, headaches, dry skin, constipation or other symptoms.If you have these underactive thyroid symptoms and visit your practitioner, they will probably run a blood test called TSH. TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone. I have talked about it in prior blogs, but it is just one single marker of how the thyroid is functioning.
If you have a high TSH level, you’ll be diagnosed with low thyroid.
If you do not have a high TSH level, you will most likely not be diagnosed, even if you continue to suffer with symptoms that seem to match perfectly with low thyroid!
There are at least six major ways the thyroid can have dysfunction.
To figure out which of these is the problem, the doctor has to run more than just the TSH. In fact, you have to look at more than just a complete thyroid panel. As we have discussed in previous blog posts, to asses a patient completely, you need to look at the blood sugar, lipid panel, metabolic panel, CBC, vitamin D’s, and iron panel.
Listening to the patient – including a detailed history (consultation), examining the patient – yes examining the patient- is equally important as the blood labs.
I am not going to go over all six of the different ways you can have thyroid dysfunction. You shouldn’t have to spend your time learning about them. Your physician should. If you feel the need to learn more, just go to my previous blogs at scottsdalethyroiddoctor.com
So if you are suffering with underactive thyroid symptoms, but have yet to be diagnosed, you need a more thorough evaluation.