Common Sense Solutions for Health
Low thyroid function can be responsible for a vast number of symptoms that can greatly affect physical and mental health. You may have a “low functioning” thyroid even if your blood work comes back in “normal” range. Read on…
Although this condition is readily and inexpensively corrected, it often goes untreated and even unsuspected. Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, is one of the gland disturbances that many people suffer from without even realizing it. It can be the cause of low energy or constant fatigue that is one of the most common complaints brought to doctors.
Low thyroid be responsible for chronic headaches, repeated infections that don’t get better, unyielding skin problems, circulatory difficulties and the inability to lose weight. It can be a major factor in heart disease, lung problems, like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, decreased sexual performance and libido, and infertility.
Low thyroid can also contribute to many emotional and mental disturbances, like depression, irritability and inertia. Even if you have been blood tested for low thyroid with negative results, you still may be suffering from this condition.
Your medical doctor will almost always diagnose low thyroid through a blood test, known as a TSH test. The lab will measure levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) in your blood and give results based on a “normal” range. This normal range can differ from lab to lab.
You may test “normal” for TSH levels and still be experiencing symptoms of low thyroid. If so, then your body is telling you that a so-called “normal” range is still too low to keep your thyroid and body functioning optimally. Based on a “normal” blood test your doctor may refuse to treat you for low thyroid, sighting “female” or psychological problems and set you on a merry-go-round of treatments for your various symptoms: an anti-depressant, a laxative, an antacid, hormone therapy, anti-biotics, or tell you you need therapy.
Also, you may have already tested low on TSH test and are taking synthetic thyroid replacements (Synthroid), yet are still experiencing low thyroid symptoms. That is because this type of treatment does not address the “holistic” or complete needs of a low functioning thyroid (it is a synthetic replacement for the T4 hormone only) or take in to account the other thyroid hormone levels and other conditions within the body that may be contributing to your low-functioning thyroid, such as pituitary function.
One of my favorite nutrition clients, a woman who travels from way out on Long Isand in Baldwin, NY to NYC to see me, has a sadly typical story to tell about her years of suffering with low thyroid and her unresponsive medical doctor. During her first visit she told me, ” When I told my doctor that I wanted to be tested for low thyroid because I couldn’t lose weight no matter what, he rolled his eyeballs at me and said, ‘Eat less and you’ll lose.’ When I tested her I found her thyroid to indeed be sluggish.
With natural thyroid supplementation and a program of herbal support for other weaknesses, she is enjoying steady weight loss and relief from a long list of other symptoms caused by low thyroid.
This Hypothyroidism Risk Factors & Symptoms Survey are excerpted from Living Well With Hypothyroidism by Mary Shomon. An extended version of this survey is available in the book. I love this book. It’s easy, informative and well written and I have recommended it for years to my patients who think they may be low thyroid. You should always try to be as well-informed as possbile about your health concerns in order to make the best decisions possible. This book is a must for your personal