7 Thyroid Issues Your Doc Likely Missed

Discussion in 'Health & Beauty' started by Erik, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    by Bryan Walsh, February 17th, 2010.

    Imagine seven people all lined up next to each other.

    Each one of them reports that they have the exact same symptoms: fatigue, difficulty losing weight, constipation, the “blues”, cold hands and feet, and feeling puffy all the time.

    These are all classic symptoms of hypothyroidism, or a low functioning thyroid gland, but what I’m about to show you is that each of these seven people can have a different defect in thyroid physiology.

    Worse yet, there is a strong likelihood that none of them will be diagnosed correctly.

    The Thyroid: Your Fat Burning Gland

    The thyroid gland is the main metabolism gland in your body. As said previously, if your thyroid is not working correctly, you will have a difficult time losing weight. However, the thyroid does so much more than that.

    * Every cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormone
    * Low thyroid hormone leads to elevated cholesterol, triglycerides and gall stones
    * There’s a higher chance of mental retardation in children whose mothers had low thyroid function during pregnancy
    * Low thyroid hormone leads to poor digestive function, including low digestive enzymes and constipation
    * There are intimate connections between the thyroid and other hormones

    o For example, thyroid hormone makes progesterone receptors more sensitive, meaning a woman with hormonal symptoms every month, may actually have a thyroid issue driving it

    * Low thyroid hormone can impact neurotransmitters

    o For example, low thyroid hormone can cause low dopamine levels, leading to loss of motivation and will-power

    In the end, as you can see, the thyroid is an important gland. It is also a very sensitive gland. The thyroid gland is negatively impacted by a number of external chemical influences such as chlorine, fluoride, some heavy metals and other synthetic chemicals. This is one of the explanations why there are so many thyroid issues today.

    But here is the reality. There are millions of people with a thyroid problem that do not know it because of flaws in understanding of basic thyroid physiology and in the way the thyroid is tested today.

    Symptoms

    Symptoms of low thyroid hormones are vast. This indicates just how far reaching the effects of thyroid hormone are.

    Some low thyroid symptoms include:

    * fatigue
    * weakness
    * weight gain
    * difficulty losing weight
    * coarse, dry hair,
    * dry skin
    * hair loss
    * cold intolerance (you can’t tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
    * muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
    * constipation
    * depression
    * irritability
    * memory loss
    * abnormal menstrual cycles
    * decreased libido.

    If you have several (or all of these symptoms), you should probably get some physiological testing done.

    Problems with Testing

    Before you get tested, understand there are three major problems with laboratory testing.

    1. Broad reference ranges – Ranges are created using people who go to the doctor, not healthy ones. Therefore the reference ranges are far too broad to catch minor fluctuations in thyroid physiology.

    2. Non-standardized reference range – Not only is the reference range too broad, but it varies from lab to lab, and state to state. Therefore you can have a thyroid issue in one state, but not another. That’s not health.

    3. Insurance company influence – Doctors only run tests that are considered “medically necessary” by insurance companies. Therefore, doctors won’t often run a good thyroid panel because most insurance companies won’t pay for them.

    Fortunately testing is available for some people in select areas. More on that in a bit.

    Thyroid Physiology

    Here’s a promise. If you understand this section, you will have a better working knowledge of thyroid physiology than most doctors.

    Thyroid physiology is more complicated than this, but here is a basic working foundation of it that works very well in identifying the majority of thyroid issues.

    There is a section in your brain called the hypothalamus that releases thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH). It tells the pituitary gland to produce thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH), which then tells the thyroid how much hormone to produce.

    The thyroid gland itself puts out a number of thyroid hormones, most of it being thyroxine, otherwise known as T4. Over ninety percent of thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland is T4, which is considered to be a prohormone because it has minimal metabolic effects on the body. Triiodothyronine (T3) is the active thyroid hormone, but only seven percent is produced by the thyroid gland. The rest has to be converted from T4.

    The majority of thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid are bound to a protein (thyroid binding globulin) to transport them around the rest of the body. At some point in their travels, T4 is converted to T3 in many tissues of the body, primarily the kidney and liver, and free T3 then gets into the cells to exert its metabolic effect.

    It should also be noted that twenty percent of thyroid hormone, T3 sulfate and T3 acetic acid, must be converted to active T3 by gut bacteria.

    What Can Go Wrong

    Getting back to the line of seven people, all experiencing the exact same symptoms, here is how they can all have a thyroid issue, but have a defect in a different area of thyroid physiology and therefore all requiring different treatment.

    Defect #1 – Pituitary
    If the pituitary is not functioning correctly, it cannot produce adequate amounts of TSH to stimulate their thyroid. This is most often due to suppression of the pituitary by cortisol.

    Defect #2 – Thyroid
    This defect is medically referred to as primary hypothyroidism, which is the one dysfunction doctors actually look for. However, the reference range for TSH is so wide, many people with this defect will be missed. Also, many people with this defect have an autoimmune thyroid condition (see Bonus Defect below).

    Defect #3 – Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG)
    If there is too much thyroid binding globulin, thyroid hormone would be bound and unable to get into the cell. Thyroid function may be perfect, but if it’s all bound, it can’t get into the cells. This is most commonly caused by elevated estrogen in both men and women.

    Defect #4 – Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG)
    If there is not enough thyroid binding globulin, there can be too much free thyroid hormone available for cells. While this doesn’t sound like a problem, elevated free thyroid hormone shuts down receptor sites and can therefore cause hypothyroid symptoms, despite high free thyroid hormone levels. The most common cause of this is elevated testosterone in both men and women.

    Defect #5 – Conversion
    If inactive T4 cannot be converted to T3, there will not be enough active thyroid hormone for cells. This can be due to a number of issues including certain mineral deficiencies (i.e. selenium), elevated cortisol or excessive oxidative stress.

    Defect #6 – Dysbiosis
    It is difficult to know the degree that dysbiosis can cause thyroid physiology issues. Because twenty percent of thyroid hormone is converted to active T3, if there is significant gut issues, or lack of healthy gut bacteria, there may be low thyroid symptoms.

    Defect #7 – Thyroid Receptor
    If thyroid hormone cannot get into the cell there will be low thyroid symptoms despite thyroid hormone levels in the body. Receptor site defects can be caused by elevations in cortisol, homocysteine or vitamin A deficiency.

    Bonus Defect – Autoimmune Thyroid
    In industrialized countries, the vast majority of primary hypothyroidism issues (Defect #2) are due to an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s syndrome. If this is the case, it is no longer a thyroid issue, but rather an immune system issue and must be managed as such.

    Seven different people. Seven different issues. All resulting in the exact same symptoms. And most of the issues probably missed in the conventional medical system.

    What To Do

    To be honest, I’d love to tell you what to do for each of these. I really would. But it is not as easy as that. Without proper testing and a complete assessment, it’s hard to pin down the one or two things you’ll need to do to resolve a thyroid issue.

    However, when traveling down the road to being healthy, you must start with the first few steps. Here they are:

    1. Take a good look at the hypothyroid symptoms listed earlier in the article. If you have many of those symptoms, you may want to look deeper into your own physiology with testing.

    2. Next, get a good blood work thyroid panel done. A good panel includes TSH, total T4, free T4, total T3, free T3, T3 uptake and thyroid antibodies (TPO and anti-thyroglobulin).

    3. Get it interpreted by someone who uses a functional/optimal reference range and actually understands thyroid physiology.

    In the end, the thyroid is a very different gland when it comes to health, as well as our ability to lose weight. When functioning well, you’re laughing. However, when your thyroid system isn’t functioning well, there are a lot of links in the chain that need to be examined.
     
  2. crystlemc

    crystlemc No, I am not cross eyed

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    Erik, thank you for this! It is so timely for me. I just went this morning to my Doc because I have every symptom on that list except for constipation and coarse dry hair. Turns out, I also have arthritis in my knees and left shoulder, high blood pressure, and possibly diabetes.

    Thankfully, armed with the amazing information that Ileen was so wonderful to have put on here, my doc is running the standard panel plus the FT3, FT4, and antibodies tests as well.

    It's kinda sick that I'm hoping they find something so that at least I know I'm not going crazy because that is certainly how I feel.

    You guys are wonderful!!!
     
  3. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    Good luck with your testing. Let me know if you need help.

    Erik can we either sticky this or link it to the existing thread?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Original Kloe®

    Original Kloe® *sizzle*

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    This keeps coming up for me lately. I put it on the backburner for awhile cause I was so irritated and exhausted looking for a doctor who would listen to me.
    Now I seem to have more reason to believe I'm hypo, but NO ONE IS LISTENING!!!! :grrr:
    I also just learned that Raynaud's is a symptom or indication you may also have hypo-- which I have. I've been taking my body temp for the last week, and it's been in the 97's... and tell me if THIS is normal-- my "room temperature" is 28 celcius. It was 22 degrees in my place because the boiler went down, and I thought I was going to freeze to death. I can't handle the cold AT ALL.

    I feel like no one will listen to me. They do a dinky TSH test, it comes back "normal"... then I have to fight to get free T4/T3 tests... many doctors will refuse to even do those because "there's no need-- the TSH is normal". When I ask to be referred to a specialist, they say no because there's no reason-- "my TSH is normal". I've physically pulled out my checklist of symptoms and y'know what they insist? "Yeah-- you're DEPRESSED!" :grrr:

    I have NO IDEA what else I can do. N-O-N-E. :sadcry:
     
  5. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

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    healthcheckusa.com - you can order tests directly yourself.
     
  6. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    i have another friend in canada that is having the same issue. THey only want to go by T4 and tsh .. and if it's normal range, they wont treat.

    I feel for ya.

    is there any way you can go out of insurance?

    i got some names for canada but not sure it's your area or reasonable enough for travel.

    Pm me.
     
  7. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    yes and there's a discount code for that. Im not sure that works in canada though?
    There are a few online labs here: and im not sure how it works for ca.

    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/
     
  8. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    Which thread?
     
  9. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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  10. crystlemc

    crystlemc No, I am not cross eyed

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    Kloe, this is EXACTLY what I have been dealing with for the last 15 years. My TSH is always on the high side of normal, but still in range and they keep suggesting I'm depressed. They make you feel like you are crazy and clearly an idiot!! Hopefully this doc will be the right one!
     
  11. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    maybeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee someday these doctors will actually learn that tsh isnt testing the thyroid.

    :suicide:
     
  12. crystlemc

    crystlemc No, I am not cross eyed

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    Well, they called and told me my results were normal. When I asked what the FT3 and FT4 were, the med assistant said "oh, we don't test for that". When I told her I specifically asked for them, I was told "Those numbers are irrelevant, and she didn't request them. Standard protocol is TSH. That's what you pay the doctor for, knowing what's best". :wtf: Ugh!

    The big problem here is that I don't have the money to keep chasing down a good doctor that may or may not exist in this area. :grrr:
     
  13. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    Are you near this group. I know someone who uses them. They take insurance and do all the right testing and treat with T4/t3.

    http://www.bodylogicmd.com/for-wome...lacement&gclid=CNGVur6j_58CFdpe2godQDs4jw
     
  14. crystlemc

    crystlemc No, I am not cross eyed

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    Ileen, I...LOVE....YOU! I am a little over an hour away from one of their doctors! I'm going to fill out their questionnaire and go from there. Thank you soooo much!
     
  15. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    good luck! :hug:
     
  16. salisem

    salisem Member

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    Wow, this sounds JUST like fibromyalgia! Yet there's no known cause for fibro, and hence no good treatments. If doctors were actually testing for thyroid issues the way they should be, I wonder if fibromyalgia would be explained away.

    Thanks for posting this... Definitely something I need to chase. Discovering my symptoms are from thyroid issues instead of "fibromyalgia" would actually be a relief, because it's something that can actually be addressed.
     
  17. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    many of the top thyroid doc believe fibro is undertreated/misdiagnosis thyroid disease.. See lots of work by Dr. John Lowe
    http://drlowe.com/
     
  18. salisem

    salisem Member

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    Very interesting, thanks for sharing. I feel like a detective who discovered a new clue! :D Now I'm actually looking forward to my next doctor's appt. :)
     
  19. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    Good luck with your dr. Hard to come by docs that do/understand thyroid disease. Pm me if you need some help.
     
  20. Rayne

    Rayne New Member

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    I have ten of those symptoms. I got iron pills for anemia. She wouldn't order the tests for anything hormonal. Total bullshit...
     

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