Thyroid function is absolutely necessary to be well and age in a healthy manner.
In the face of how mainstream medicine has set the system to NOT diagnose hypothyroidism, I am criticized daily for diagnosing hypothyroidism in my office for patients who have come to me because they are miserable secondary to their low thyroid, and they need treatment and replacement. I live in the center of the “goiter belt” where iodine is rare in regional water and food. That one fact makes hypothyroidism a very common disease in my office.
Here is how hypothyroidism should be diagnosed:
Symptoms of hypothyroidism,
A free T3 lower than 3.0, and free T4 lower than 0.9, and a normal or high TSH above 2.5, and or, 3. A first morning basal oral temperature (called basal body temperature) of less than 98.0 for woman and 98.4 for men.
Now lets’ look toward the treatment of hypothyroidism and why you may not receive the dose or type of thyroid medicine that you need to make you well. Synthroid is the typical and most expensive thyroid medicine available to treat hypothyroidism. I do use Synthroid for men as the majority of men respond to it, but women do not, and it was not tested on women when it passed the FDA.
Synthroid is just one of the thyroid hormones, T4, and to be effective must be transformed into T3, however the majority of women do not convert T4 into T3 and that means that their lab work looks like they are normal (the TSH is below 2.5) but none of their symptoms are gone! This does not faze medical doctors because symptoms are no longer important, but to me the resolution of symptoms are the reason we know a patient is better.
For women I use a combination of T4 and T3 in one of three forms: 1) Porcine Thyroid called Armour Thyroid, Nature thyroid or WP Thyroid, 2) Synthroid (levothyroxine) plus Cytomel (Liothyronine= T3), or compounded T4+T3.
One of these options works very well for women, and some men.
I start the dose low and then increase until my patient feels normal, or her temperature is > or equal to 98 degrees, his temperature is greater than or equal to 98.4, or they have side effects like anxiety, tremor or tachycardia. In that case I decrease dose, add magnesium glycine 400 mg/day, and slowly increase dose again.
Must also have adequate iodine to supply their thyroid receptors so thyroid replacement can work well.
Although resolution of symptoms should be enough, I also like to see my patients’ blood work return to normal free T3, free T4, and a TSH less than 1.0. The reasoning behind my belief that the stimulating hormone must be suppressed if a patient has adequate replacement hormone comes from my knowledge of physiology, my experience having hypothyroidism since I was 21, and the practice of medicine for over 35 years involving replacement of estrogen, thyroid, progesterone, testosterone, insulin, cortisol and growth hormone. In all of these hormones, it is necessary to suppress the stimulating hormone when we replace the hormone itself. Watching the stimulating hormone fall is a sign that I have given the proper dose!
For difficult to treat patients who do not normalize their thyroid hormone level to result in an asymptomatic patient, I draw thyroid antibodies, and a reverse T3. These tests diagnose autoimmune diseases and the effect of cortisol and stress that inactivates T3 and increases Reverse T3.
Our thyroids are in constant danger from toxins like fluorides in our water and bromides in our bread and baked goods and many other various toxins. Thyroid function is absolutely necessary to be well and age in a healthy manner. If you have the symptoms of hypothyroidism, then finding a doctor who will treat you by normalizing your symptoms and blood work with the right type of thyroid at the proper dose with the proper supplements to optimize your thyroid replacement.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.