Dr. Chris Heimlich, DC, DACNB FIAMA Comments:
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.
Yes frustrated, but your doctor thinks it is depression, and suggests anti-depressants. (If you have not already been prescribed them) In your heart though, you know all these symptoms are not from being depressed.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid that persist even after given thyroid medication is a red flag that something is still going on underneath the surface.
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.