Thyroid Gland Not Working?
My entire life, I had a disordered perception of what my body looked like. I was a serial dieter. I’d try one diet, lose a couple of pounds, and then they would quickly return, bringing along with it an additional pound or two more. I was convinced there was something wrong with my thyroid gland. After all, my mom had a diagnosis of thyroid problems and was on medication. I must have inherited it, I was sure!
An Inadequate Blood Test for Thyroid Issues
But my doctor did one blood test: TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, and proclaimed me “normal”. There’s nothing the matter with your thyroid he insisted. I couldn’t believe him. How is it possible to eat next to nothing and be unable to maintain weight loss – or even GAIN weight?
It was a very long road, until I learned the truth about the ignorance of endocrinologists, and their proclivity to dismiss a woman’s symptoms and instead rely on a blood test that isn’t even checking their THYROID GLAND. It’s checking to see if the pituitary gland is releasing a hormone! Thanks to Janie Bowthorpe for her amazing book which gave me the education I needed so I can speak intelligently to a doctor who wanted to dismiss my concerns. (I had to fire MANY doctors before I found a good one!).If you have found your weight increasing even though you’re not eating more, and have symptoms (see below), you may have an undiagnosed problem with your thyroid gland.
Yes, gaining weight is a very complex subject that is interwoven with many systems in your body. Your thyroid gland is the “master gland”, and thyroid hormones circulate throughout your body. A very sophisticated system can be thrown off easily as a response to lack of certain nutrients and minerals, or even stress.
Proper Diagnosis but Poor Choice of Medication
Furthermore, even with a diagnosis, and treatment, many people complain that pharmaceutic medications are not adequately fixing their thyroid problems. Many doctors are reluctant to prescribe medications that are made from dessicated thyroid glands from animals. They prefer to depend upon synthetic pharmaceuticals, and are not even willing to try treating with the alternative, even though many patients have a much better response to the animal product. And of course, your prescription drug plan probably won’t pay for it either! You don’t even need fancy blood tests to tell if the treatment is working. All you need is your thermometer!
Symptoms of Hypothyroid
Be aware that there are many symptoms, you may have a few, or many! Although there are a number of disorders possible – Graves Disease (Hyperthyroid- more characteristic of weight loss), Hypothyroid (slow metabolism), and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland) a condition where many of the symptoms are both hyper and hypo!
There are many doctors that now believe that the standard blood tests do not adequately diagnose thyroid problems, and they are treating patients based upon symptoms, not just blood results!
Cold hands and feet
Eyebrow outer 1/3 thinning
Inability to concentrate
If you have a preponderance of these symptoms, don’t take “NO” for an answer. If you are being treated with synthetic thyroid (Synthroid, Levothyroxine, etc) you may still have symptoms because these are not the best drugs according to many thyroid sufferers. You will be amazed at how much better you feel when your thyroid gland is working as nature intended it.
The Best Way To Diagnose and Treat Your Thyroid Condition
Yes, there are alternative and complimentary treatments available. A great way to do a test at home is to check your body temperature and pulse. If you have cold hands and feet, that’s a first sign that you may have problems with your thyroid gland.
The next step is getting an accurate diagnosis to find out if you have a thyroid condition! Because I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (and had many symptoms of both hyper and hypo thyroid) I’ve read a ton of books and articles about the thyroid, and it’s really helped me to understand the tests that should be done, and to interpret the results. I highly recommend you read Stop the Thyroid Madness: A Patient Revolution Against Decades of Inferior Treatment by Janie A. Bowthorpe, a woman who has gone through it all with inept and ignorant board certified endocrinologists. She finally became an expert herself by researching, speaking with thousands of other thyroid patients and finally finding good physicians.
Will I Lose Weight With Proper Thyroid Medication?
I want you to know that just by getting treatment for Hypothyroid symptoms is no guarantee that you lose weight. There may be foods to which you may have a food sensitivity. Gluten can be problematic for those with thyroid problems. Many doctors believe that for the majority of people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (auto-immune disease of the thyroid) “gluten” (anything with wheat, and some other grains) should be eliminated from your diet. It’s not an easy condition to manage.
If you are not eating enough and often enough you will find that your body temperature is low. Over-exercise can impact your thyroid condition by being stressful for your body. Lack of sleep is also very bad for your thyroid (and your health in general). Your thyroid gland is VERY SENSITIVE to stress!
The best thing you can do, is get yourself informed. And there is a genetic predisposition to inheriting it from YOUR family- and they may not even have been properly diagnosed. Don’t fool around with this disease – it is your Master gland, and addressing the problem can improve your health, your mood, your weight, your ability to think, and even long term health issues! In fact, Dr. Broda Barnes did exhaustive research with thousands of people, and realized that heart attacks are CAUSED in great measure by untreated thyroid conditions!
The book above will give you the information you need so that you can be an advocate for your health with your doctor. Not every endocrinologist is going to honor your requests for special testing and treatment. I recommend you get informed so you know if you have the symptoms, and then can find the right kind of doctor to help you! It’s not going to be easy, but when you feel better, you’ll know the effort was worth it!