Thyroid dysfunction affects an estimated 20 million Americans and about 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
Yet, up to 60% of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction can include low thyroid symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, constipation, depression, lack of motivation, mental sluggishness, cold hands, cold feet, hair loss or dry brittle hair, outer third of eyebrow thins, dry skin, slow starter in the morning, and constipation. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include heart palpitations, inward trembling, increased pulse at rest, nervous and emotional, insomnia, night sweats, and difficulty gaining weight. Some people experience both hypo and hyper thyroid symptoms. This is usually an indication of Hashimoto’s Disease.
Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune disease where your immune system is attacking the thyroid gland, leading to progressive thyroid gland destruction and hypo function, interspersed with hyper thyroid symptoms. According to the Endocrine Society, up to 90% of thyroid cases are due to Hashimoto’s autoimmune condition. So if you are reading this and you have a thyroid problem, the most likely diagnosis is Hashimoto’s autoimmune!
If you have not been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, you may be wondering why your doctor have not mentioned it or even tested for it. The test is a simple blood test for thyroid peroxidase antibody and thyroglobulin antibody. You must test for both because you can be positive to one and not the other. The reason most doctors don’t test for Hashimoto’s is because the current model for thyroid treatment is focused solely on managing the lab values, rather than treat the root cause. Most physicians, either medical or natural, treat everyone with thyroid problems with the hormone replacement, such as Synthroid, levothyroxine, or Cytomel, which are synthetic hormones, or patients are given bio-identical hormone such as Armour, Naturethroid and told that they are better than synthetic.
The truth is, none of these hormone replacement therapies address the root cause of the thyroid dysfunction, which can be one of 24 different underlying causes, with autoimmune mechanism being the most common. This explains why so many people continue to suffer with thyroid symptoms even though they are taking thyroid medications and the lab test may be normal. In the next article, I will discuss the 6 main patterns out of the 24 possible reasons why you may be suffering from thyroid condition. In the mean time, look for a doctor that understands and takes the time to investigate the root cause, not just giving you a hormone pill. You can request a free thyroid video that explains how to heal your thyroid naturally get off the medication merry-go-round.